Mo'Nique; Oprah Winfrey
Mo'Nique is sharing her true feelings about her estranged relationship with Oprah Winfrey—and she's not holding back.
In a recent appearance on Shannon Sharpe's Club Shay Shay podcast, the actress and comedian opened up about the turning point in her relationship with Oprah, when the former talk show host had her brother Gerald Imes as a guest on the show to apologize for sexually abusing her during their childhood.
Mo'Nique explained that Oprah called to tell her that Gerald asked to be on The Oprah Winfrey Show and even wanted to apologize to Mo'Nique for what he did to her. But the actress, who had just won an Oscar for her performance in Precious at the time, said she "didn't want anything to do" with her brother or the interview.
Oprah then allegedly offered to squash the episode idea altogether, which Mo'Nique encouraged her not to do, in the hopes that her brother had changed or had some positive lesson to share. But it wasn't until commercials for the interview began airing that she realized her entire family—her parents and her other brother—were also invited for the sit-down conversation.
Monique tore Oprah a new one here. She did her so dirty. All for what? Ratings?
NGL… After hearing this I do believe Oprah did Taraji dirty and everything we’ve seen from the two is just PR.
Oprah comes off performative and untrustworthy. pic.twitter.com/3c1Pdl3EvW
— Podcast Papi (@ItsMicahB) February 7, 2024
"We never talked about my mother being there," Mo'Nique explained, insisting she still feels betrayed by the situation.
"I understand it. But you betrayed me, sister," she said about Oprah, noting she was only ever notified of her brother being on the show, not the rest of her family.
The situation ended up putting Mo'Nique in a difficult position, as she found herself subject to criticism and commentary about her mother after the interview aired, despite what should have been a positive time in her life following her Oscars win.
As a result of the interview, Mo'Nique said she frequently "had to defend" her mother, which was an experience she didn't sign up for.
"Had Oprah Winfrey said, 'I'm [going to] have your mama [on the show],' I would have said, 'Shut that s—t down."
"I don't need nobody seeing my mama be greedy. I don't need nobody seeing it—shut it down," Mo'Nique added.
She then revealed that Barbara Walters was also contacted about interviewing her family, though she ultimately decided not to do it.
"They called [Barbara] first," and she said, "Monique, I told your family I can't do that to you. I wouldn't do that to you. You just won that award. Why would I do that?"
Oprah has not issued a public response to Mo'Nique's latest claims.