Gayle King is reflecting on turning down one of the most incredible opportunities she was ever offered.
Sitting down with Drew Barrymore for the debut of her new digital series The Art of the Interview, the CBS This Morning co-host says she was offered to take over Oprah’s talk show after she retired from it in 2011. However King, who has been close to the media mogul for decades, decided to turn the opportunity down in favor of spending time with her young children while they grew up.
“It would be great for me, it’d be really great for me. But that wouldn’t be fair to them,” King said.
King and Barrymore were discussing how they both ended up separating from their respective husbands – the fathers of their children – and the disappointment that came with it. “It was as if I was letting them down,” Barrymore said of her feelings when separating from Will Kopelman back in 2016.
King, on the other hand, says that being able to watch her children grow up was the most important thing to her.
“[Oprah] was talking about giving the show up because she wanted to go into acting. She wanted to go into acting, she wanted to act full-time because she loved acting. So her plan was, you move to Chicago and we’ll incorporate you in the show, so at the end of the year, I can sort of pass the baton,” King explained. “And I was really…imagine a huge opportunity. I was really excited about that. And the kids were, you know, we were divorced so they were still young and then I realized that that wouldn’t be fair to them.”
King’s now-grown daughter Kirby and son William Jr. were the focus of her life back when she was offered the Oprah Show hosting job. She says she was focused on raising them to “feel loved and secure,” and that moving to Chicago wouldn’t have been the best situation for them.
“So in the end, I just decided to not take her up on that offer. But favorite daughter, Kirby, favorite son, Will, their wellbeing to me was more important than whatever career opportunity I could have had at the time,” King said. “And I don’t regret that.”
Watch the full interview with Gayle King below.