If you think that Mo’Nique holds a grudge of sorts with Oprah Winfrey because of what went down with Precious, you’re mistaken. What actually is behind their rift, according to the 51-year-old Oscar winner, is a particular episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show that she felt exploited her family’s issues and for which, she never felt she received a true apology for.
“Oprah Winfrey called us up and she said my brother wanted to come on the show and talk about him molesting me, and he wanted to tell other parents how to look out for molesters,” she said in an interview with Comedy Hype.
Mo’Nique called her brother a “charmer,” and she told the talk show host, “I don’t want nothing to do with that cat. The ni–a I know is up to a scam.”
Mo’Nique didn’t block her brother’s opportunity, but didn’t want to be involved with it. After speaking with Oprah about the possible episode, she said she respected the fact that the host called her first — until she found out it was going to be more than just her brother on the show.
“Now I begin to see commercials with my mother, with my brother, my father and my other brother. Now the reason why that means so much is because in the conversation we had about my brother, we then went deeper and we began to talk about our relationships with our mothers and our fathers, and I shared my relationship with her about my mother. I shared with her that me and my mother were not talking. I shared with her that we were in a really bad place. I shared with her that I was hurt and trying to figure this thing out. She never said my mother was coming on the show, because had she, Oprah Winfrey, said ‘I’m going to have your mother,’ I would have said, ‘Shut it down,'” she said. “‘I don’t need the world seeing how greedy my mother is. Shut that down.’ That’s one of the reasons why we don’t communicate, because of my mother and father’s greed. If you had given me the opportunity I would have said, I can’t put my mother — that’s still my mother.”
She was upset to find that her entire family’s presence on the episode hadn’t been discussed with her. Mo’Nique said her mother appeared greedy, her father was visibly drunk (she said she could tell) and she said her brother was scamming viewers.
Oprah called her after the show and the actress said she was so still stuck on the fact that she was dealing with the Oprah Winfrey that she didn’t share her true anger over the situation. Her husband, Sidney Hicks, encouraged her to take off the kiddie gloves and speak truthfully about her disappointment. Unfortunately, it would be years before she was able to.
She finally confronted Oprah at Alfre Woodard’s annual Oscars Sistahs Soiree in 2015. Mo’Nique said she tried to reach out prior to the event but couldn’t get her back on the phone, and interesting enough, Woodard encouraged her to say “whatever is on your heart” when all the women came together to speak. She asked Oprah an important question in front of everyone.
“I looked to Oprah Winfrey and I said, ‘You know you and I need to have this conversation. Why would you have my mother on your show?'” she asked. “So for all the women that was there that night, they know exactly what was said and I said to her, ‘How could you have my mother on your show? That’s not what we discussed.'”
After Oprah had her mother on the show, people came up to Mo’Nique and said pretty negative things about her mom, but she still defended her “because that’s my mother.”
“You don’t understand what position you put me in by doing that, so now this is my moment to talk to you. And what she did was take the cowardly way out,” she said. “She said, ‘If you think I did something wrong, I want to apologize.’ And what my husband taught me a long time ago is an apology is not something you think you think you need to give if somebody else thinks you need to give it, it’s what you feel.'”
That of course wasn’t good enough for Mo’Nique, as she believed Oprah had “full intentions” of having her family on her show without telling her so she could exploit her their rocky relationship.
“When I say to my community, I know Oprah Winfrey when the curtains are closed, I know her when the cameras aren’t running, that’s why Oprah Winfrey doesn’t want to sit down with me nor my husband, to have a conversation, because within minutes, the community would know who Oprah Winfrey really was because she’s not used to anybody asking her any questions.”
Mo’Nique was asked if she could say anything to Oprah today what it would be, and she did have something in mind.
“I would say, Oprah Winfrey, you know what you need to do. And stop hiding behind what you call ‘negative comments,’ what you call, ‘I don’t even deal with things like that,’ because what people are beginning to do is see you for what you are.”
“Until that woman says ‘Let me apologize to you publicly,’ it will be ’til the day that I leave this earth, because what you did was malicious, and it was intentional, and it was ugly,” she said.