Oprah explained how she first met Calvin.
I met Calvin around the early ‘90s, I think it was 1992. I was doing a film for television called There Are No Children Here. We were shooting in the projects in Chicago and I was sitting on set during a break, and this cute little sparkly-eyed boy came underneath the yellow tape to hand me a soda.
“I was so charmed by him that I started talking to him about his family, his school life, and found out that he was in a situation where his mother didn’t have a job and they were stuck in the projects.”
Oprah and her boyfriend, Stedman Graham, decided to try to help him out. They paid for his tuition to attend a private school in Chicago. When they found out Calvin wasn’t going to class regularly because the family didn’t own any alarm clocks. Oprah said:
We went out, Stedman and I, went to K-Mart that moment, got a bag full of clocks, came back to the house, taught them how to set the alarm and all that.”
She gave him another chance. Apparently Oprah even offered to adopt Calvin, but his mother refused. Calvin’s mother, Eva Mitchell, said:
It felt strange because I felt if someone wanted to help me with my children, that’s one thing. But to actually adopt one child knowing I have others? I couldn’t allow her to separate my children.”
Then Oprah sent Calvin to a boarding school in Mississippi. He dropped out after a while saying the teachers didn’t like him. It sounds like that’s when Oprah was done with him. Fast forward a couple of decades, and Calvin approached Oprah on the streets of NYC. He explained what happened when he dropped out of the boarding school at the age of 17.
I just wanted to come home, and Oprah didn’t understand that. She told me, ‘Calvin, just try to work it out. You can do it. Just hang in there.’ She was trying to inspire me to do what was right. But even after the long pep talk she gave me, I still left.
“I was young. I made a dumb decision, and Oprah wouldn’t forgive me. I feel like what she did was wrong.
“By leaving school, I’d failed my whole family. I’d let everybody down. But I thought Oprah and Stedman would still be a part of my life. At one point, it was like I’d lost my whole world.”
Now, at 35, Calvin is a truck driver. He explained why he wanted to talk to Oprah:
I want to ask Oprah, ‘Why did you leave me? Why did you leave me?’ I’m still empty. I’m still searching. I don’t have closure to this. I just don’t understand.”
When Calvin approached Oprah outside of ‘The Late Show,’ she didn’t recognize him at first.
As I left, and he was looking so forlorn, he was like, ‘Can I speak to you?’ So I said to somebody on my team, ‘Will somebody get Calvin’s number so I can contact him later?’”
Then she found out the entire thing was set up by the National Enquirer. Oprah said:
When I realized the whole thing was a setup, I was no longer interested in speaking to him.”
Yeah, I can understand that. Calvin made some terrible choices, and it sounds like he’s still making questionable decisions. It’s too bad.
Photos by FAMEFLYNET