A distraught Oprah Winfrey is telling pals her "thank you" for helping Barack Obama win the presidency has been a knife in the back.
A jealous first lady has frozen the talk queen out of the White House inner circle, say insiders. "Oprah is devastated," revealed a friend.
"She had no idea that Michelle was so jealous about the influence she had on Barack. She hated the way her husband would huddle with Oprah over strategy and jump when she called.
"The jealousy and anger was eating up Michelle. During the campaign, she vowed Oprah would not be a part of the new administration.
"Oprah had visions of being a close adviser to the president and a regular visitor to the White House. She was actually planning to redecorate the famous Lincoln bedroom, which is reserved for special guests of the first family.
"But in the first 10 months of the Obama administration, Oprah has visited the White House only twice, and one visit was for a business meeting to do an interview with Michelle for O magazine.
"And that was a disaster. Oprah arrived with her friend Gayle King, but was shocked to find Michelle cold and distant. Worse, she all but ignored Oprah and directed her attention to Gayle. It was as though Oprah wasn’t even there."
The meeting got off to a bad start when Oprah, 55, greeted Michelle. The TV host leaned to kiss her cheek, but the first lady stepped back and extended her hand instead.
Then Michelle, 45, seemed to ignore a question Oprah asked about the Obama children, instead taking a question from an aide and then returning only to chat with Gayle again – ignoring or forgetting Oprah’s question.
By the end of the day, Oprah felt roundly snubbed.
"Since then, Oprah has tried again and again to mend the rift," said the friend. "But she’s had no luck. Michelle has made it clear she is no longer interested in being friends with Oprah and is going to block her from access to the President."
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