It's been a very busy new year for Oprah Winfrey! New cable network, new baby sis...
"I look forward to building a relationship with her," the daytime queen told--who else?--BFF Gayle King today on King's radio show. "Having been burned a lot of times in other relationships, I'm the kind of person that would like to take it slow, build a relationship upon mutual respect and understanding.
"I am open to having a sisterly relationship," Winfrey continued, but such things aren't automatic and they take time.
Of course, the big reveal wasn't news to King.
"I even knew that this was coming, I knew all the details," King began by way of introducing her pal via web conference, "but as I sat there watching the story, you told the story so beautifully, and I know that there had been a lot of conversation about when to tell, what to release, what to do. And at first I was very reticent about it being on the Oprah show...But you did it so beautifully."
Winfrey revealed on Oprah yesterday that she had a younger half-sister, who she only introduced as Patricia, who their mother, Vernita Lee, gave up for adoption in 1963. Lee, who lives in Milwaukee, recently suffered a partial stroke.
"There was much discussion about how to tell the story," Winfrey said. "I did not want this story exploited in the tabloids and have her family hounded...and have pieces of the story not be true...I felt strongly that the story should be told by somebody who..."
"Who really knew the facts," King interjected.
"I feel that I really do like her," Winfrey said of Patricia. "I'm open to building a relationship with her and allowing that to build as it should, and I'm sure it will."
Even Stedman has said "'she's the real deal,'" she added.
"I think we have...the common interest of our mother," the OWN honcho mused. "Everybody who's dealing with an ailing parent understands that process of getting care for them. And we're speaking regularly about that."
Meaning, they're not just cultivating a relationship for ratings' sake.
"I had her to dinner at my house the night before we taped the show," Winfrey continued, and they had "conversations about [Patricia's] family and how I can be helpful."
"She coming into the family at this time has been a great peace offering, a great symbol of peace-making in this family," Winfrey added. "I would say I see her as a gift."