How Did Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham Meet?

Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham’s relationship has stood the test of time. How did Winfrey and Graham meet? Here’s what Winfrey said about their first meeting and why their relationship works.

Oprah Winfrey says she and Stedman Graham have a ‘spiritual partnership’

Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham | Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images
Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham | Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images

In her column for “O, The Oprah Magazine,” Winfrey spoke about her special relationship with Graham. She says she and Graham chose a “spiritual partnership” over marriage. “Our relationship works because he created an identity beyond being ‘Oprah’s man’ (he teaches Identity Leadership around the world and has written multiple books on the subject),” Winfrey said. “And because we share all the values that matter (integrity being number one). And because we relish seeing the other fulfill and manifest their destiny and purpose. It’s what Gary Zukav defines as a spiritual partnership: partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth.”

How Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham first met

Stedman Graham and Oprah Winfrey at the 2018 Golden Globes |  Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon
Stedman Graham and Oprah Winfrey at the 2018 Golden Globes | Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon

Winfrey and Graham first met back in 1986 at a charity event, reports “People” magazine. They crossed paths a few times. Winfrey told her magazine readers that one day she and Graham were both visiting a mutual friend who was sick and later died of AIDS. She says she used to see Graham around her town a lot, but he usually had a girlfriend with him, so she didn’t give him much of her time. During the time she and Graham were visiting their friend, he didn’t have his girlfriend with him. Winfrey noticed this so she asked if he wanted to go out for a drink.

What Oprah Winfrey first thought of Stedman Graham

Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party | Larry Busacca/VF15/Getty Images
Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party | Larry Busacca/VF15/Getty Images

Winfrey says she thought Graham was handsome, but a little too handsome to be interested in dating her. Winfrey says she thought he was probably a “player,” and her producers thought the same. “I figured he must be a player,” wrote Winfrey. “So did all my producers. They warned me not to get involved with that Stedman guy. Aside from his appearance, they knew nothing about him. But anybody that good-looking driving a vintage Mercedes merited suspicion.” After Graham broke up with his girlfriend, Winfrey says she started to seriously consider a relationship with him.

Why Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham never married

Stedman Graham and Oprah Winfrey |  Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images
Stedman Graham and Oprah Winfrey | Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

Winfrey decided not to marry Graham because she knew their relationship would change if they did. Winfrey told “People” magazine when she was the host of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” she had very long work days, but Graham gave her space to work as she saw fit. Winfrey says Graham’s expectations might have shifted after marriage. She also told the publication they don’t believe they would have remained in a relationship if they had gotten married. Here’s how Winfrey explained her decision:

I used to think about this all the time, that I was working these 17-hour days, and so were my producers, and then I go home and I have my two dogs and I have Stedman, who’s letting me be who I need to be in the world. He’s never demanding anything from me like, ‘Where’s my breakfast? Where’s my dinner?’ Never any of that, which I believed would have changed had we married.

Read more: Oprah Winfrey Describes Her Hilarious First Date with Stedman Graham

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