Oprah Winfrey is reeling from a shock interview given by her father, Vernon, in which he alleges the billionaire TV maven only deigns to call him twice a year for 20 minutes.
Vernon, 83, who despite his age and ailing health, tells the National Enquirer that he hasn’t seen Oprah for two years.
“We talk on the phone maybe a couple of times a year - on her birthday and on mine,” he tells the publication from his barber shop in Nashville, Tennessee, where he charges $15 per haircut. At the time of the interview, Oprah – who is worth almost $AU4 billion - was living it up on a snow holiday with her longtime partner Stedman Graham and best friend Gayle King, believed to be at her new mansion in Telluride, Colorado.
62-year-old Oprah lived with her dad while she studied in Nashville, and has credited him with saving her. But sources say that despite buying him a car and a modest house near his business, Oprah has done little to repay him.
“It’s sad to see Vernon in such basic conditions,” says a source. “He scrapes by, but it’s barely a living. He’s a proud man, and doesn’t like to say it, but he feels like he’s been cut off.”