Oprah Book: That's It...John Tesh?!

We wanted dirt. We got an easy-listening fling. Couldn't Kitty Kelley come up with anything better?

By Joal Ryan Apr 14, 2010 2:05 PMTags
Oprah Winfrey, John TeshAP Photo/Chris Pizzello; Gene Blevins/Getty Images

Somewhere, Frank Sinatra's steamed. And so are we.

When the Chairman of the Board got the Kitty Kelley treatment, we got first-class dirt—ham and eggs off the chest of a prostitute, anyone? Now it's Oprah Winfrey's turn, and we get—what? A relationship with John Tesh? A "volcanic" affair with a radio DJ? Rumors of "giggly late-night phone calls" to Diane Sawyer?

For this, Kelley's been shunned by the talk-show circuit? Seriously?

To be honest, we haven't exactly read the just-released Oprah: A Biography, unless going over the rundowns and thumbing through the index during lunchtime at Barnes & Noble counts. But from what we understand—and just so you know, we did our due diligence and inspected all nine pages categorized under "sexual identity"—there's not a whole lot of first-class dirt to be sucked up.

Now, maybe this means we missed the good parts, Winfrey is pretty ordinary, and/or Kelley, as the New York Times theorizes in its review, is too late. Winfrey, the paper points out, "has already said way too much about herself."

Indeed. The doomed romance with the disc jockey—a married man, to boot? Winfrey's already told that tale on herself. (Kelley adds the man's name and other details, including a reputed payout for his discretion.) The whispers about Sawyer? OK, admittedly, that's a new one, but overall it's a variation of the old questions, which, again, Winfrey's already addressed. Is the talk queen gay? Are she and Gayle King more than BFFs? Kelley doesn't drop any bombshells. Of Winfrey and King, she writes, there are "no foundations for the rumors of a lesbian relationship."

So as far as shocking moments go, what are we left with? The Times thinks it's Kelley's assertion that she knows the identity of Winfrey's biological father—and that Winfrey doesn't. But we were thinking more along the lines of, you know, sex. Which leaves us with John Tesh. Seriously.

Sinatra wouldn't get out of bed for a John Tesh story, and we wouldn't blame him. Why bother disturbing your breakfast over an apparently unremarkable thing (interracial tensions excluded) between two then-single people? Now, maybe if one of the then-single people were David Letterman or Tiger Woods or somebody, anybody with juice, then we'd get excited. But Tesh? No matter how many times we try to imagine Tesh and Winfrey together—and please, don't try this at home—the only mental picture we get is Tesh composing music by the fireplace while an adoring Connie Sellecca looks on.

We have come to expect so much from Kelley books. Laura Bush was her college's "go-to girl for dime bags!" (From The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty.) Nancy Reagan had a White House affair with Sinatra! (From Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Biography.) Sinatra called Reagan a "dope with fat ankles!" (Ditto.)

And now John Tesh.

We wanted ham and eggs. We got warm milk.


Still intrigued? Find out the five things you need to know about Kitty Kelley's Oprah biography right here.