BY SHAMAN MOMOH
It’s common knowledge that Oprah Winfrey was repeatedly sexually abused when she was a child. She was 9 years old the first time she was raped by her 19-year-old cousin, and then she was raped by a family friend, and then her mother’s boyfriend, and then she was raped by her uncle. She’s really been pretty open about her harrowing childhood, what she hasn’t said much about, though, is the child she had when she was 14, a product of one of the rapes.
She was at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday where she spoke for almost 2 hours, and she revealed some more about that child who ended up dying.
“I did an interview with a reporter before I came to Australia and she said you should name the baby son who died. So I have named him, I had a little boy named Canaan. I did have a son. And I named him Canaan because Canaan means new land, new life.“
Oprah continued, “I was raped at 9 years old by a cousin, then again by another family member, and another family member. I took to my bed and cried for three days. I felt devastated. Wounded. Betrayed. How could this person do this to me? I imagined that every person on the street was going to point their finger at me and scream, ‘Pregnant at 14, you wicked girl … expelled!’ And I soon realized that having the secret out was liberating. What I learned for sure was that holding the shame was the greatest burden of all.“