David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey Discuss Feud, His Sex Scandal
(NEW YORK) — Once more, old rivals David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey made amends on Sunday’s episode of her OWN series, Oprah’s Next Chapter.
They famously were not on good terms for years until they buried the hatchet in 2005.
Letterman admitted that he had played up the perceived tension between the two on his Late Show to get laughs out of the audience. However, he claimed that their “feud” began when Winfrey snapped at him on the phone when he invited her to appear on his program when it visited Chicago.
Winfrey recalled that she did the appearance and felt uneasy due to a rowdy audience.
She continued, “It felt so uncomfortable to me that I didn’t want to have that experience again. That’s really all it was for me. I just didn’t want to be in that uncomfortable experience.”
Letterman apologized for the incident, though Winfrey said it was unnecessary.
The two resolved their differences in 2005, when she made an appearance on the Late Show.
During their hour-long conversation, Letterman opened up to Winfrey about his personal life, including the moment on his show in 2009 when he admitted to having affairs with multiple Late Show staff members. He said his wife, Regina Lasko, stood by him throughout the ordeal, though he told Winfrey he’s still trying to regain her trust.
He said, “It will never go away. She’s been tremendous. She’s got great courage. She is greatly intelligent.”
Letterman revealed that by being so upfront with his viewers about his infidelities, he’d hoped to gain a little sympathy from them.
He also said he is working toward becoming a better person in the aftermath of the scandal, in part by seeing a psychiatrist.
The initial segments of the interview — which was conducted at Letterman’s college alma matter, Ball State University in Indiana — focused on Letterman’s early days as a comedian, his relationship with who he described as an “insecure” Jay Leno, and his being passed over for The Tonight Show hosting job in favor of Leno after Johnny Carson retired in the early 1990s.
When Letterman was asked if he felt he deserved to be Carson’s successor, he replied in the negative.
He added, “I was disappointed that I didn’t get it. But I never thought, I never felt like something had been ripped from my hands.”
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