Oprah Winfrey: I am Not Gay

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NEW YORK – Oprah Winfrey has heard the rumors for years. And now it's time to address them. The daytime talk show maven isn't gay. Never has been. Never will be. Nope. Nada. Not that there's anything wrong with it.

"I'm not even kind of lesbian," Oprah says.

Many of the rumors were generated by her long, enduring friendship with Gayle King who, at times, seems to far overshadow her

Winfrey denied the gay chatter in an upcoming interview with ABC's Barbara Walters. "Why would you want to hide it?" Oprah says. "That is not the way I run my life."

As far as Gayle King (pictured at right of Oprah) is concerned, Winfrey says she is "the mother I never had, the sister everybody would want. She is the friend that everybody deserves." Winfrey's eyes moisten and her voice chokes as she adds, "I don't know a better person."

"A Barbara Walters Special: Oprah, The Next Chapter" will air Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern.