Oprah "Betrayed Me," Mo'Nique Claims in New Interview
The Oscar-winner says that the host stole roles from her and exploited her family drama.
Mo'Nique has had personal issues with Oprah Winfrey for years, and a new interview proves that their feud has not yet been resolved. As reported by Page Six, the comedian and actor claimed on the most recent episode of the podcast Club Shay Shay hosted by Shannon Sharpe that Winfrey "betrayed her" and opened up about all the ways in which she believes she's been wronged. Mo'Nique's complaints include the talk show host allegedly "stealing" roles from her and exploiting a family tragedy.
The tension between Mo'Nique and Winfrey dates back to the actor's role in the 2009 movie Precious, for which won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. The 56-year-old has claimed that she was asked by director Lee Daniels, producers Winfrey and Tyler Perry, and production company Lionsgate to promote the film beyond what she was contractually obligated to do and without being paid additional money.
In a March 2023 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mo'Nique claimed that Daniels had "blackballed" her from Hollywood, and that she felt Winfrey and Perry also contributed by branding her as "difficult." Daniels had since publicly apologized to Mo'Nique, but the THR profile notes that the comedian still wanted public apologies from Winfrey and Perry.
Suffice it to say, Mo'Nique did not feel supported by Winfrey amid and after the release of Precious. On Club Shay Shay, she said "See, when I speak about Oprah Winfrey—and let me be clear I love that sister—I speak about that woman because she's spoken about me. And when you begin to speak about me privately, I'm going to speak about you publicly." She added of the producer, "You've been unfair, you've been unjust and you watched a Black woman be thrown under the bus and you said nothing."
Mo'Nique claimed that Winfrey was jealous of her Oscar win and took subsequent roles from her, including one in a 2013 movie also directed by Daniels.
"The movie The Butler, that movie was offered to me," Mo'Nique said on the podcast. "[Daniels] said, 'Mo, at the time I didn't have no power and I didn't have no money, so when Oprah said she wanted it … So who played the lead role in The Butler? Oprah Winfrey."
She said a similar situation played out with a biopic about Richard Pryor that Daniels had been working on before dropping out of the project in 2016. Mo'Nique claimed she was offered the role of Pryor's grandmother, saying, "Who then calls Lee Daniels and says, 'I want to be the grandmother?'" Winfrey ended up being announced as cast in the role.
On top of this, Mo'Nique also felt blindsided by an episode of Winfrey's show that featured her estranged family members. The Parkers star has explained that Winfrey advised her in advance that her brother Gerald Imes had asked to be on The Oprah Winfrey Show to apologize for having molested Mo'Nique when she was a child. She explained that she told Winfrey that she did not mind the show giving her brother a platform but that she did not want to be involved herself. But, the comedian was surprised when her parents, from whom she was also estranged, ended up appearing on the show, as well.
"We never talked about my mother being there," Mo'Nique said on the podcast. "I understand it. But you betrayed me, sister."
Best Life has reached out to Winfrey for comment.