Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey has a “secret son!”
In a bombshell world exclusive interview, a heartbroken Calvin Mitchell has claimed Oprah, 61, once tried to adopt him — only to leave him as a teenager — in a move which sent him spiraling toward suicide.
Choking back tears, Calvin told The National ENQUIRER: “I want to ask Oprah, ‘Why did you leave me? Why did you leave me?’”
He added: “I’m still empty. I’m still searching. I don’t have closure to this. I just don’t understand.”
Calvin met Oprah as a tender 12-year-old in 1993 when he was cast as an extra on the ABC-TV urban drama, “There Are No Children Here.”
One day, he slipped past security on the set, picked a Diet Coke out of a cooler, and handed it to Oprah.
Touched by his precociousness, Oprah — worth an estimated $3 billion — hired him as her so-called “personal bodyguard,” Calvin told The ENQUIRER.
But her real motivation was to save him from the poverty, gangs and the mean streets of Henry Horner Homes — a housing project on Chicago’s drug-infested West Side.
Even though tough-talking Oprah had declared it would be “unfair” for her to bring a child into the world and “expect the child to fit into my lifestyle,” she secretly developed a mother-son relationship with Calvin.
After the movie finished filming, Calvin visited Oprah at her office every week where she would help him with homework.
She also took him to her sprawling Indiana farm on weekends, where she taught him to read.
When Calvin’s mom couldn’t afford new clothes or sneakers for him, Oprah took him shopping.
At one stage, the big-hearted television host begged her longtime live-in love, Stedman Graham, to allow Calvin to move into their mansion — but he nixed the idea.
“Only if you are willing to move in his whole family,” he reportedly said.
Undeterred, Oprah pressed on with her pursuit, and even asked Calvin’s mom to make the ultimate sacrifice as a parent!
“Oprah asked my mom if she could adopt me, but my mom denied her,” Calvin, now a 35-year-old truck driver living in Illinois, told The ENQUIRER.
When he reached high school age, Oprah paid for Calvin to attend The Piney Woods School, a prestigious Christian-based boarding school for African Americans in Mississippi.
But a homesick Calvin decided to drop out in his junior year, despite Oprah’s impassioned pleas that he remain at the school and graduate.
“I just wanted to come home, and Oprah didn’t understand that,” said Calvin. “She told me, ‘Calvin, just try to work it out. You can do it. Just hang in there.’
“She was trying to inspire me to do what was right. But even after the long pep talk she gave me, I still left.”
Ashamed, Calvin waited a month before summoning up the courage to visit Oprah’s Harpo Studios, where one of her assistants greeted him — and Calvin and Oprah’s relationship exploded.
Calvin recalled: “He said to me, ‘Calvin, man, you blew it. You had something that a lot of kids wish they had.’ He was telling me in so many words, ‘Oprah ain’t messing with you anymore.’”
Though Calvin enrolled in high school in the Chicago area, he dropped out a second time.
Shunned by Oprah, he succumbed to a deep depression, and even thought about killing himself!
“By leaving school, I’d failed my whole family. I’d let everybody down,” he said. “But I thought Oprah and Stedman would still be a part of my life. At one point, it was like I’d lost my whole world, and I thought about suicide!”
He said: “I was young and I made a dumb decision. But I feel like what she did was wrong.”
Livid at the way Calvin has been treated, his biological mother, Eva, told The ENQUIRER that she hasn’t gotten over Oprah’s secret plan to adopt.
“It felt strange because I felt if someone wanted to help me with my children, that’s one thing,” she told The ENQUIRER. “But to actually adopt one child knowing I have others?
“I couldn’t allow her to separate my children.”
Adding cause to the concern was Oprah’s tragic upbringing and her bold statements that she was unsure she could ever be a parent.
“What parenthood takes one-on-one, I don’t have,” Oprah once admitted. “I don’t know if I have what it takes to do it correctly.”
Oprah’s mom, Vernita Lee, never married Oprah’s father, Vernon.
She was raised by her maternal grandmother until she was shipped off to live with her mom when she was nine.
After a few years, Oprah was uprooted again, this time to live with her dad in Nashville.
She had a child out of wedlock at age 15, but the baby was premature and didn’t survive.
Then came her painful admission to her family that her uncle — who she claimed repeatedly abused her as a child — was most likely the baby’s father.
“I’m not maternal,” she insisted at one point. “I have to put that down to my unhappy childhood.”
Somehow, though, Calvin was able to trigger that maternal instinct in Oprah.
Today, he still recounts happier times with the woman whom he considered to be a de facto mother.
“Oprah and Stedman were like family to me,” Calvin told The ENQUIRER. “Stedman used to take me to Chicago Bulls games, and we went to the black rodeo that he hosted every year. We all had a close relationship.”
To prove the point, Calvin said that whenever Oprah gave him a gift, she’d write: “To my son Calvin, I love you.”
Calvin briefly reunited with Oprah in 2009 when she sponsored a free concert along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue.
Thrilled, he left his phone number with her bodyguard, but she never called him.
“If it were my child, regardless of what that child did, they still would be a part of my life.
“Oprah and I had grown so tight that I thought she’d be a part of my life — forever. I’m heartbroken that she is not.”