When Oprah Winfrey gave each member of the audience of her show a car during a 2004 broadcast, the cheers that greeted her were immense. And, ultimately, the moment would go on to become one of the most iconic in U.S. chat show history. Yet unbeknown to viewers, the prize would cause big problems for some of the winners.
Born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, in 1954, Oprah endured a traumatic childhood, as she was allegedly sexually abused from a young age by some of her family members – among them, her uncle and her cousin. As a result, the future star decided to flee home, aged 13. Then, when she was just 14, the teenager fell pregnant; tragically, however, her premature son would die shortly after his birth.
Upon moving in with her father, Vernon, in Tennessee, though, Oprah managed to turn her life around. After working at a radio station during her high school years, she landed a local news co-anchor gig at 19. And Oprah was later given her own talk show in the Chicago area; this in turn became a ratings winner and set her on her way to world domination.