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Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 11/ 2/2009

Comment Box: Oprah and Stedman over?

By Liz Kelly

Oprah and Stedman attended Barack Obama's swearing in ceremony as a pair last January. (AP)

Is it really true that O and Stedman are through? I hadn't heard anything about their relationship ending. Where will he go? What will he do? I guess this means she and Gail can join eharmony together. -- from last week's Celebritology Live chat

Well who can ever tell with Oprah? Despite her over-emotive daily dissections of OPP (other people's problems), she manages to keep a relatively tight lid on her personal life.

But here's what the rumor mill is spitting out: Word surfaced back in August -- first as a blind item -- that a longtime power couple was splitting. Soon the National Enquirer broke "news" claiming that Stedman Graham had indeed moved out of chez Oprah and into his own bachelor pad, effectively ending the couple's 20-plus year relationship. Then came word of a rumored payoff to Stedman -- $300 million to buy his silence. Which, of course, did nothing to dissuade some sites from publishing claims that Stedman had a tell-all book in the works.

But, hold up: in September Oprah gave the impression that she and Stedman were very much together, saying: "Had we made the official marriage commitment, we wouldn't still be together. The reason the relationship works is that we get to define it on our terms. It would be very different if we were in a 'traditional' relationship where I was expected to be a wife and every now and then cook a meal!."

Which brings us to last week, when news again surfaced of a possible payoff, with the National Enquirer claiming that Oprah was prepared to give Stedman $150 million to prevent him from dishing on their relationship.

One thing I can say for certain: Oprah and BFF Gayle King are still thick as thieves.

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Dear Celebritologist, I recently took a trip to England and ended up with a bit too much free time. To fill time I started reading some of their tabloids. Pete Andre and Katie Price seem to be going through a nasty divorce. I know all sorts of details about them. For instance, apparently she's dating a tranny cage fighter and puts highlights in her four year old son's hair. She accuses him of having an affair with his manager and getting into a fight with her hair stylist best friend. Really, I couldn't get away from these people -- they were in every magazine. But for the life of me I have no idea who they are. Liz, please help, what have they done and why are they famous? -- Northern Virginia

Think of Peter Andre and Katie Price as the U.K.'s equivalent of Jon & Kate Gosselin. Or Paris Hilton and Doug Reinhardt. And add a little silicon and hair gel into the mix for good measure. Basically, the two are the equivalent of any obnoxious -- yet questionably famous -- couple about which we're force-fed incremental relationship updates, each one more fantastic than the last. What makes Katie and Peter so fun is (as you allude to above) the extremes to which the two go. It's one upmanship of the best (worst?) kind.

But, to specifically answer your question: Peter Andre is a singer/songwriter discovered on a TV talent show. He went on to join the cast of the U.K. version of "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here," where he met Katie Price (aka Jordan), a former "model" and TV personality who once ran for local office on the platform "For a Bigger and Betta Future" and promised constituents free breast implants, nudist beaches, and a ban on parking tickets. The two have starred in a handful of reality TV specials about their love and childrearing.

In the latest Katie and Peter news (which I do my best to ignore most days), Katie accuses Peter of an affair with her bridesmaid.

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Creative Captioning: Check out the latest winners -- who last week described the action in a pic of Drew Carey meeting Holly Madison.

By Liz Kelly  | November 2, 2009; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  Comment Box  
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Comments

If Lilo and SamRo play their cards right, we can be talking about their possible breakup 20yrs from now too. Geez! Who cares anymore?

Sounds like Andre and Katie could be compared better to Heincer than Jon and Kate.

Posted by: hodie | November 2, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I do find it fascinating that even though Oprah is so well-known (and, inexplicably to me, well-liked and -respected), we do not know as much about her personal life as with other limelight-happy celebrities. Why is that, exactly?

A) Killer P.R. team
B) She keeps all her clothes on and doesn't frequent TMZ-infested nightclubs
C) Everyone's afraid of her
D) Crack legal staff
E) Creates diversions from interest in her private life through masterful plugging of her show and her business life
F) Lack of Twitter
G) Outside work, she's just not that interesting

Any guesses?

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | November 2, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

David Letterman never hit on Oprah.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | November 2, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

First thought: eHarmony takes lesbians now?

Second thought: If Stedman's outta there, it would be very interesting to know why, because he's probably the best-kept (as it were) man in America.

Posted by: northgs | November 2, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Oprah ever invited Stedman for a menage a trois with her and Gayle.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | November 2, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I used to like Oprah. Until her head got so big she had to regain all that weight just to support it.

Anyway, if she was going to give Stedman a payoff anyway, why didn't she just marry him? Marriage is not about being a housewife cooking in the kitchen. It's about respecting your partner and your partnership enough to want to legally protect them. It doesn't have to include a big wedding with a big white dress (though I imagine that would sell a few copies of O Magazine.) It can be as simple as a trip to the court house. But it's important, and her reluctance to take part in it doesn't make her a great role model for the millions of people who watch and emulate her.

Posted by: Roxie1 | November 2, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

td, I'm going to choose b, c, and e. It seems to me that Oprah is very good at sharing a specific, sanitized, publicized version of her "personal life". (And you can take that as either criticism or praise.) We see her "favorite things" every year on a big product tie-in show, she picks books, she has a magazine that lots of folks read- she has involvement with people's everyday lives without involving the details of her personal life. Plus, like you said, she's much less likely to say something insane and entertaining on TMZ. Paparazzi following her probably won't get much material, or at least they haven't in the 20-some years she's been popular.
Eh. Oprah's a standard by now. And while I don't follow her or her products that closely, I have to respect anyone who encourages people to read for pleasure.

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | November 2, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

That rumer about Oprah and her BFF has been around forever - Oprah used to go on and on about how stressful it was to have kids b/c her BFF had them and so Oprah somehow also knew all about it and was a super expert, as she is about everything.

She also cried once on TV about rumers that Stedman had a fight with a gay hairdresser he was secretly dating - and she went on and on about how it was all a lie.

So - maybe it was a lie OR maybe she feared alientaing her core audience of housewives unless she pretended to be somwhat traditional

OR (and this is the right one, I suspect):

she is totally boring and vapid in private. Her interests, thoughts and ideas really are the ones on her shows. "I dream and think about my favorite things all the time." Maybe she DOES that? Maybe that's even less-boring then my attempt to psycho-analyze a famous stranger...but I doubt it.

Posted by: Amelia5 | November 2, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"I used to like Oprah. Until her head got so big she had to regain all that weight just to support it."

Roxie, I nominate this as comment of the day. Early contender for comment of the week!

Posted by: hodie | November 2, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I think Oprah's keeping her private life where it belongs -- private -- makes her an excellent role model. Her private life is nobody's business, and marriage does not equal commitment, as the number of dysfunctional marriages shows all too clearly. I always loved that she and Stedman seemed to have a relationship that works for THEM -- which is all that matters. What other people do/think/choose is irrelevant, and why do people care so much whether somebody else gets married? I always liked that Oprah was living proof
that you don't need a courthouse/piece of paper to have a committed relationship. I still believe that -- whether or not they are still together, 20 years and change is a committed relationship, and they seemed to do it a hell of a lot better than people who try to shove marriage down everybody else's throat simply because THEY chose it.

Posted by: Californian11 | November 2, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Ditto the comment of the day to Roxie.

And Bawlmer, I hear you about Oprah's encouraging people to read. I just wish her seal of approval via "Oprah's Book Club" didn't give me the scary feeling that one day we'll all have giant "1984"-style TVs in our house, with her face staring at us all day examining and correcting our choice of diversions.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | November 2, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Aw thanks Hodie and TD. I'm having a blah day so your praise now has me glowing.

Californian - people don't HAVE to marry. But you do have more legal rights if you're married, and arguing that committed relationships and a legal marriage share equal footing is disengenuous. Marriage doesn't shield you from heartache, but it can help you survive it. Why do you think gay people are so eager to get the right to do it?

Posted by: Roxie1 | November 2, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

You know the real reason Oprah and Stedman have never gotten married? The combination of a celebrity wedding (big news) and Oprah's Favorite Things- Wedding Edition! (big, big news) would create an event so large the whole of the media and entertainment industry would crumple under the weight. I mean it. Oprah would call a press conference to announce her five billionth Preferred Provider (in this case, for exotic soap arrangements in the guest bathrooms). Then there would be an ominous grinding noise, and all of Los Angeles and half of New York would simply wink out of existence. Nothing would survive but cockroaches and Speidi.

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | November 2, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I dunno about Oprah and Steadman, but I was somewhere last week where the buzz was all about Clooney and his fake-o Italian girlfriend. Talk was that it is all a publicity stunt. Theory is...well...we've tossed that theory around these parts before...

Posted by: mdreader01 | November 2, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"Then there would be an ominous grinding noise, and all of Los Angeles and half of New York would simply wink out of existence."

... and this would be a problem because ... ??

-Someone who is glad the moat of Camp Pendleton separates our little county to the south from our neighbor L.A. to the north

Posted by: Californian11 | November 2, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh hey, thanks a lot Cali.

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Posted by: sarababe55 | November 2, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: sarababe55 | November 2, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

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