GAYLE KING, the new queen of morning TV, is hiding her own blockbuster story of drugs, cheating and how she used her best friend OPRAH to make millions!
Known for years as Oprah Winfrey’s closest friend, the divorced mother of two has used her famous pal as a stepping stone to find stardom in her own right on “CBS This Morning,” say sources.
But now the national spotlight is exposing some of Gayle’s deepest secrets for the very first time.
“Gayle is getting thelast laugh on Oprah!” a close source told The ENQUIRER. “While Oprah’s new OWN cable network is struggling badly, Gayle is doing extremely well in her first TV job in years not working for her BFF.
“She’s taken full advantage of Oprah to become the star attraction over co-hosts Charlie Roseand Erica Hill – and make millions!”
Added an insider: “Gayle’s status as Oprah’s best friend gave her the star power to get the job and a multimillion-dollar contract. And she used Oprah’s contacts to land an exclusive interview with Michelle Obama in her very first week at CBS.
“Gayle also uses her inside knowledge of what’s happening with Oprah behind the scenes to break news on the show.
“For instance, in late January she told viewers she had the exclusive inside scoop on reports that Oprah was the ‘Godmother’ of Beyonce and Jay-Z’s baby daughter Blue Ivy. Gayle came right back on after the adverts and told viewers there was no truth to the stories – as if she’d picked up the phone and called Oprah directly!”
While Gayle’s friendship with Oprah put her on a path to riches, that same relationship has also led to some very painful moments involving drugs and cheating.
In a shocking lawsuit that has since been settled out of court, Corrine Gehris, a flight attendant who worked on Oprah’s private jet, sought some $75,000 in damages, claiming she was wrongfully fired for alleged “inappropriate intimate behavior” with the plane’s pilot during a 2009 flight.
Gayle’s daughter Kirby Bumpus was on board as a flight attendant and was cited as a defendant in the case. Gehris told the court it would have been impossible for Oprah and the other passengers to know what happened during the trip because they were knocked out cold after taking sleeping pills!
Gayle and Oprah’s relationship caused other problems as well, including the failure of Gayle’s 11- year marriage to William Bumpus in 1993, charge sources. Oprah encouraged her bosom buddy to leave Bumpus rather than forgive his extramarital affair, according to an Oprah biography by Kitty Kelley.
After the divorce, rumors ignited that Oprah and Gayle were having a lesbian affair.
Now insiders are speculating that 57-year-old Gayle and her morning show co-host, Charlie Rose, 70, could become an item.
“Gayle is feeling positive in her job and particularly likes her older, divorced colleague,” said the close source. “She’s already joked on David Letterman’s show that Charlie is her lover. There’s certainly enough good chemistry between them to make people wonder.”