You gotta hand it to Oprah Winfrey—not only does she know that OWN didn't get off to a great a start, but she's also not afraid to admit it.
"I got hit with him curveballs and some stumbling blocks and some hurdles along the path," Winfrey said today while accepting the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Power 100 breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel. "For a moment, actually two or three minutes, I was thrown off balance. I lost my stride and I had to reexamine for myself which way is true north."
She said it was frustrating when she opened the newspaper to read reports of her "struggling network."
Fortunately, Winfrey eventually put OWN on the right track.
"I am stronger…I am a better leader and I'm a more conscious executive and certainly a wiser woman because of every challenge I faced in building the network," she said.
Her longtime friend Maria Shriver presented her with the Leadership Award at the early morning gala sponsored by Audi, Samsung and Gucci.
Shriver's remarks included reading a poem she wrote for Winfrey.
"That sounds like my eulogy," Winfrey cracked while wiping away tears. "It really does. Good, Lord! And [I'm] alive to hear it!"
Winfrey had even more to be excited about today. She nabbed a SAG Award nomination for her work in Lee Daniels' The Butler.
"For someone who was trying not to embarrass myself, it is amazing," Winfrey told me exclusively. "The best part is it is a jury of your peers. It's people who do this for a living—don't make me cry now!—It's people who do this for a living saying we're going to give you a vote. We think what you did deserves this."