She was asked to list the five moments that changed her life, and among them are two episodes from The Oprah Winfrey Show that she admits almost made her quit television for good.
"It was the KKK skinhead show [during which fights broke out repeatedly and one guest was kicked out for profanity] and then the show with a man, his wife... and his mistress," she recalled, referencing the two episodes, which aired in 1989.
The talk show trailblazer explained that while she and the producers of the Oprah Winfrey Show felt like they had struck gold with these bookings, she quickly had a change of heart after seeing things go off the rails, fast.
"At the time, the producers thought this was one of the greatest bookings we could ever get," she said. "We thought, 'He agreed to come on with his girlfriend? This is unbelievable.' Then there was a moment when the man says to his wife, 'You know what? There's nothing you can do about [the affair], because [my mistress] is pregnant.' We were live and I didn't know he was going to tell her, nor did the producers know."
"It's one of my greatest shames, but a shameful act that allowed me to make the shift, because I go, 'Never again will I do that to somebody,'" she continued. "If I hadn't, I would have been out of television much sooner."
Elsewhere in the interview, she opened up about a childhood dream where she pictured herself dying at 56 that haunted her for most of her life. Read the full cover story here.
(Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)