Oprah looks back on best-selling author Terry McMillan's riveting appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and explores how McMillan's intense rage almost destroyed her. Oprah, for the first time, reveals how uncomfortable she was during McMillan's 2005 appearance with her ex-husband Jonathan Plummer. McMillan learned after they married that her husband was gay. Oprah also recalls McMillan and Plummer's Oprah Show reunion five years later. Plus, Oprah talks about one of the guests that changed her life forever and helped her understand the value of forgiveness. Also, a viewer from New Jersey opens up about how the show gave her the strength she needed to forgive her estranged father, after not speaking to him for eight years.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I'm Oprah Winfrey welcome to supersede conversations the podcast. I believe that one of the most valuable gives you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present. Your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us starts right now. Over the years we did many shows with people who showed us how anger set them back, how holding onto the pass set them back, and I can't forgive her and I think about it every day, and I am so angry because the damage is done. I blame each and every one of them every one that had anything to do with its can give
What is this? This is what I know for sure. I know that if you allow the past to define your present, that you never actually really get to live the life that you were meant to live because you're always holding on to what was and always holding and defining yourself by what was or what should have been or what could have been, and one of the best lessons for me with this is learning that revenge is another way that the ego shows itself when you think that you deserve to be treated a certain way. You think you deserve to have things a certain way. You think that you deserve deserve deserve deserve, and other people have done you wrong, instead of
again living from the true self. Now we all know Terry Macmillan when she wrote Stella gotta go back, and so many women love that story, because it allowed them to think of themselves. As still truly vital than being attractive to younger men in doing your own thing in allowing yourself to not be bow,
by other people's conformities. So what we didn't know is the mess that was behind Stella getting her good. It was a story based on real life that gave millions of lonely women, hope, authoritarian Macmillan famous for her best selling book waiting to exhale revealed intimate details of her own steamy romance with a man twenty three years younger that love story became another best seller and movie call how Stella got her group back. It appeared ass if Terry Macmillan's, lonely knights, were over forty three role. Terry Macmillan was enjoying a tropical vacation on our own when twenty year old, Jonathan Plumber caught her eye Jonathan was sitting at it
they want breakfast. He was looking at me and he smiled. I was thinkin Boil boy wore a sexy smile and any said. Would you mind if I joined you now come on over an autonomous, I'm old enough to be your mother? He said, would you know my mother and then I just started thinking I'm on vacation. It's been a long time here fine he's sexy as hell who would have to know, and I said, would you like to sleep with me. He said it was so sexy. I really think I did see him as a work of art, because I thought he was beautiful, we stand behind me. Can you kiss me on my MAC? I loved India, We ended up three years later, getting married for the first six years, our marriage. Our relationship was blissful, but after six and a half years of marriage. Jonathan dropped a bomb show. What did he tell you? He said he was confused about as wealthy and then he said,
think I might be gay and there's a halogen lamp. I have as a base. That's really heavy yeah and I haven't. I said you know what I feel like taken this lamp and dashing your face in, but I'm not going to. Then he stood up and he said I am guy he for he kindly hadn't done anything yet and been with another man. I said you haven't done anything yet. I swear I swear of Indonesia. That's more like listening, I'm an alcoholic, but I haven't had a drink. Yet we all were having sex. It's time you regularly yeah yeah, so the thing had you never suspected that he was gay. Now, not gay. Now, not gay. I always thought John. It was not the most masculine man that I'd really been with when they make you question now,
all men are masculine here I mean he wasn't a feminine, not me, there were things he did a guy manoeuvres inputs but more time in a mere that ideally uses narcissistic, and I try not to hold that against them. But there are, things it. He did for me that other men hadn't done the book in the movie house till I gotta go back. How close to the story is it is that this story now, because that will love you but all understand. I finished the book before job and got off the plane to come to California. The book was finished. Ok before even came to California. Ok, it was a fantasy. It was you projecting into the future. It was me get trying to get myself permission to say it's ok to go out with this young man, even though I was old enough to be as mother, and it was deal and with the whole double standard issue that yet Do it and no one asked, is he trying to marry his daughter right, and so that was so
what it was. It was giving myself an opportunity to do what made me feel good, not worry about what people thought. I think when you listen to tarry carefully, you can hear her say she wrote the book in defence of being able to explain to herself that this kind of relationship would be o K for her, so she was already defensive about it. She was already projecting what other people would think about it. I've known Terry Macmillan through her work her art in her talent and her books, and I was surprised that she number one Come on tv and talk about this or Jonathan went out. Let us making more surprise, that Jonathan wanted to comment TB and talk about it. This is your chance to say too
the world. Were you lying to tarry about your sexuality, all those six years I was a line of unless extravagant you were not lying, so we bring about is pretty apparent to me and I think, a lot of other people. You know something This was going on there that I think that somewhere inside her self, if she were absolutely honest, he knew something was off. Even if she couldn't say that he's gay. She knew something wasn't right, because you always get that little feeling. I call it a whisper and the whisper is exactly that. It feels like Saddam's off? And then you allow yourself to tell yourself they did something else or that isn't what you actually really think it is. You dont use your own
stink, your own intuition, allow yourself to be put in a position that you later have to suffer the consequences. Because I know and respect Harry, I was really quite Why is she doing this, and why is she allowing herself to be put in this position, Why is she still so angry? I trusted Jonathan and I don't think she would say the same thing to you in that was very, very, very angry at that time. What was the anger about was about the betrayal and the deception. Was it? What was the anger for all of us? Is it true that he wanted your money and to challenge the preen up? Did you did hear our regret that a lower? But what does that mean? I do regret. You know the whole divorce proceedings and it cost me a fortune over three thousand dollars to maturity.
Money. I couldn't just given Jonathan some money and said: go on, I'm not big on forgiveness, but why didn't? I say what I say: I'm not big forgiveness. I am really surprised because I accept who he is so you forgiven him, you up, I don't I forgive him for being gay, but I don't. I don't like how it had happened. I dont like how we got here and I wish it had happened in all I'm hoping as from this point forward. Then no one else has that he deals with. That's all moves this episode. After a short break, the Michelle Obama podcast will debut exclusively on Spotify. Until I twenty ninth, the series will bring listeners inside the former first. Ladies most candid and personal conversations showing us what possible, when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to open up, and to focus on what matters most my hope,
is that this series can be a place to explore meaningful topics together and through. So many of the questions were all trying to answer in our own lives. Michelle Obama said she continued. Perhaps most of all, I hope this pack hast, will help listeners open up new conversations and how conversations with people who matter most to them that's we can build more understanding and empathy for one another episode subjects will focus on the relationships that shape us from siblings and close friends to partner his parents and mentors to our relationship with ourselves and our health join. The former first lady will be in a of special guests, including Marian and Craig Robinson Conan, o Brien, Valerie, Jarrett, Michel, Norris and Doktor Sharon Malone,
listen. Frame at Spotify outcome. Slash Michelle Obama. As I know, everything in life is a mirror for ourselves. I am doing on that, show what I'm asking you ought to do now. You look at how this applies to your own life. At least. Hers was showing itself. I know for so many. Oh it's pushed down internally. That's why people have road raids. That's why people were you know yelling at people who work for them, because there's all this pent up, unexpressed anger of holding on to something that you should have let go and when she was able to let that everything changed. I think for myself- and I know many of you- you think forgiving means accepting what has happened to you. Well, it is eggs,
during that it has happened to you not accepting that it was ok for it to happen. It is accepting that it has happened, and now what do I do about it for giving is giving up the hope not holding on hoping wishing that it could have been any other way than it actually was giving up the hope that the past could be any different, and when I got that, I think it took me to the next level Of being a better person, because I don't hold grudges for anything or any situation, and neither should do its letting go so that the past does not hold you prisoner does not hold you hostage.
Please welcome back Terry Macmillan. Imagine this five years later, when the producers come to me and say guess who wants to come on the show and share their story of forgiveness. My mouth dropped because I thought really. How did that happen? What were the weeks and months like for you? After that? Any of you? I was pretty angry where you mad at Jonathan, particularly after that show yes how I was mad at him because you think you you're, like turn into public circus agenda her into a public sarkoja. Well, despite signing a pre nap Jonathan sued for spouses support an attorney fees. He was awarded twenty six thousand dollars seventeen months later, Terry, so Jonathan for forty million dollars, the United had money
oh it was. I guess it was a gesture, so you Susan Forty, zero in every mainhall yet the lie. Be ok, so you what you sued, because you wanted to what be validated isoude, because I wanted to basically puncture the lies that we're told about me: ok, which lies. There are a lot of things that were taken out of context it. It takes a lot of time and energy to sue and money and money it takes. You know, and people said to me if people are saying things about you, aren't you why don't you see cause it takes so much of your time and energy and money in a just. You have to stay in that space of being angry enough to do it. You know you have to stay. Keep yourself embroiled
in that fighting mode overtime. Oh yes, yes, and that title for almost three years, yes site. But the thing is: is this: after a while the anger you own it and there is no room to lead in beauty or love or any goodness. So why did you finally drop it when when was enough enough for you also only when you realise that its your happiness, a your joy, that you are sabotaging and that the other person has absolutely nothing to do with it. And so I just decided it wasn't even a decision. It was sort of like our realise that I just I lost a hundred pounds emotionally, just all the debris and the ugliness and the poor,
and also you know like, even when I call Jonathan to tell him he was free. I was free to that very same moment. You no anger and bitterness. It's an emotional termite ages eat you can't let any goodness in you know. Good things happen. I would never have known I didn't know because you are being asked instead of being able to see the present. I think that's so powerful Terry when we brought them back together. I did not know what to expect Jonathan plumbers. Bacterial Ex husband is here, but something had changed and the something was the Terry Macmillan was able to really let go of the anger for the record. They just gave each other big, o hug. How are things between you? These are great. I'm finally come from
I think so. Are there not be a verse? Let me ask you both now: do you wish you'd handled it differently? I wish that I had been so compelled to sue him and his attorney because the anger lingered and at war me out, I totally agree. Philosophizing are just about life, you know I didn't give her the gratification of it. She observed and I am truly sorry up the way things ended. What lessons, because every relationship is you to teach you something about yourself? Where did you learn from this process? I realize it. I needed to do what it would take to get me back a happy, and that was- and that was to basically let all of this girl let it go either. Let it go Also you never. You know what I was
ready to run him over it wasn't because he was gay. I never hated his guts because he was gay. As you know, not a gay people thought that no, I know now inspired. One reason why I soon because I hated the idea of being known as a home, awful jaws and deep down ass. I knew I was not homophobia. You know I have too many gay and lesbian friends right too many to an end, but anyway, the bottom line is that we all know why you were upset any reasonable person knows you're upset, because you will betray you lie. You rely too, and I thought I would hate his guts for until I died. I really did and I wanted to. I really did because I thought that the more I hated him, the more he would suffer, but that's the thing about when you're carrying a grudge against somebody S. I realise its long term of that only I was mad at somebody and then I happen to be. As many years ago I was holding
remember what it was for you and I saw them or Michigan Avenue, laughin light and even upset. Go unanswered when they still are not always easy, lavishly, laugh and Ngos in the deepening. What what am I doing? What am I? The truth? Is you don't forgive for the other person and that's what holds so many people in the space of Unforgivingness because they think it means I've got it now do as for you, you forgive for yourself. Forgiving is letting go of the hope that it could have been any different, accepting it for what it was and being willing to move forward with your own life.
It's the only life you have any control over. You have no control over whether Somebody else comes laughing out of the Tiffany store or whether someone else moves on what their life and remarries and has a wonderful joy is fulfilled. Sense of being in the world, you have no control over everything that happens to anybody else, and that is the great lesson of letting go of the past, letting go of the anger so that you and be free letting go of the anger so that you can get the money out of your wings, letting go of the anger so that you can accept the power that is within you allow that power to move forward after that show was over. I was so impressed with the way that Terry had handled it and that she had had
this aha, the pivotal moment that moved me and I know moved so many of our viewers. I called her and said Terry. That was really great. That was really something and she shared something that she did not share on the show she shut with me that she had been in her car and she had been feeling this axis rage. This anger. And there was a moment where she let the car window down and she said she could actually feel the presence of the anger as an energy field, leaving her body and leaving the car, and she says I did not say that on tv, but the truth is that was I'm over Winfrey and you ve been listening to supersede conversations the podcast you can follow,
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Transcript generated on 2020-07-23.