Oprah reveals the surprising reason she keeps a whole octopus in her fridge

Oprah Winfrey’s idea of a refrigerator staple is a little outside of the norm.

During a recent appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Winfrey addressed a series of rumors about her to confirm or deny the validity of each. When host Jimmy Kimmel asked her if it was true that she keeps a whole octopus in her fridge, she simply replied, “Yes.”

When asked why, Winfrey said that her partner of three decades, Stedman Graham, “loves” the cuisine and “eats it for breakfast almost every day.”

“That is a strange thing, isn’t it?” she asked Kimmel. “Let me just tell you, when you open that refrigerator and there’s that octopus just sitting there…It’s a gross out thing. It’s got all the tentacles and the head…it’s real.” 

Winfrey said she likes to poke fun at Graham for his meal of choice, adding, “Every morning when he’s eating it, I say, ‘I believe you’re the only person who’s having this for breakfast right now.’”

Graham doesn’t eat the octopus alone, though. Winfrey also revealed his fusion of choice.

“It’s not just octopus. It’s octopus and okra as a combo,” she said.

Kimmel quipped, “He loves things that start with O” — like Oprah!

Winfrey and Graham’s relationship has spanned multiple decades and encompassed much of her career.

From their first meeting to the secret behind their enduring partnership, here’s everything to know about Winfrey and Graham’s relationship.

1986: Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham meet and begin dating

Winfrey recounted her relationship with Graham in a personal essay she wrote for O magazine, now Oprah Daily, in January 2020.

She wrote that in 1986 she had seen Graham “around town” but that he had a girlfriend, so she “didn’t pay much attention.” However, when they both visited a mutual friend who was sick, Graham was alone, and they left together. 

“I thought he was nice enough, but I wasn’t that impressed,” she noted. “He was polite, yes, and kind. The sort of guy who sits with an ailing friend. Tall and handsome, for sure. But actually too handsome, I thought, to be interested in me.”

Winfrey said she “proceeded with caution” in their friendship. However, after she learned that Graham and his girlfriend had broken up and he was “inquiring” about her relationship status, she said that she “gave him a serious thought.”

1992: Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham get engaged, but later called it off

After six years of dating, Winfrey and Graham got engaged in 1992, according to People

The couple ultimately called off their engagement, with Winfrey writing in her 2020 essay that she “had doubts” after she accepted his proposal.

“I realized I didn’t actually want a marriage. I wanted to be asked,” she wrote. “I wanted to know he felt I was worthy of being his missus, but I didn’t want the sacrifices, the compromises, the day-in-day-out commitment required to make a marriage work. My life with the show was my priority, and we both knew it.”

2017: Oprah Winfrey shares why she and Stedman Graham never got married

Despite a 2016 rumor that the couple tied the knot, Winfrey and Graham have never gotten married.

In an August 2017 interview with Vogue, Winfrey revealed that the topic of marriage never came up between the couple.

“Nobody believes it, but it’s true,” she explained. “The only time I brought it up was when I said to Stedman, ‘What would have happened if we had actually gotten married?’ And the answer is: ‘We wouldn’t be together.’”

She agreed with his sentiment, adding, “We would not have stayed together, because marriage requires a different way of being in this world.”

“His interpretation of what it means to be a husband and what it would mean for me to be a wife would have been pretty traditional, and I would not have been able to fit into that,” she noted.

2020: Oprah Winfrey defines her relationship with Stedman Graham as a ‘spiritual partnership’

Winfrey maintains that the secret to the success of her relationship with Graham is their decision to not get married and remain romantic partners for more than 30 years. 

Rather than opt for a “traditional” marriage, Winfrey wrote in her essay that she and Graham found a dynamic that worked well for them. 

“Our relationship works because he created an identity beyond being ‘Oprah’s man,’” she wrote, noting that he teaches about the concept of identity leadership, a topic he has written many books about. “And because we share all the values that matter (integrity being number one). And because we relish seeing the other fulfill and manifest their destiny and purpose.”

Winfrey added, “It’s what Gary Zukav defines as a spiritual partnership: partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth.”

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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