Gayle King Says She Turned Down a "Huge Opportunity" From Oprah

She did it for her kids.

Does anyone say no to Oprah? If anyone could even think of doing that, it would be her best friend, Gayle King, who explained to Drew Barrymore in the debut episode of her new web series, The Art of the Interview, that there were plans for her to take over Oprah's daytime talk show. However, King said that she didn't take the gig, because at the time, the decision wouldn't have been the best thing for her kids.

"It would be great for me, it'd be really great for me," King said. "But that wouldn’t be fair to them."

Gayle King

King and Barrymore were talking about their families and their children when she said that she looked up to King, going as far as saying that the host was a "parenting icon." When they talked about divorce and family separation — Barrymore split from Will Kopelman back in 2016 and King divorced her husband, William Bumpus — King explained that she was more focused on her kids' happiness than keeping her family together. To do that, she felt like divorce and turning down Oprah's job offer were the best choices.

"[Oprah] was talking about giving the show up because she wanted to go into acting. She wanted go to into acting, she wanted to act full-time because she loved acting. So her plan was, you move to Chicago and we'll incorporate you in the show, so at the end of the year, I can sort of pass the baton," King said. "And I was really ... imagine a huge opportunity. I was really excited about that. And the kids were, you know, we were divorced so they were still young and then I realized that that wouldn't be fair to them."

King shares a daughter, Kirby, and son, William Jr., with her ex-husband. She told Barrymore that when Oprah wanted to basically give her the show, her kids were still her main priority and she wanted them to "feel loved and secure."

Going to work in a whole new city, she thought, wouldn't be in their best interests. It all worked out, she said, and she doesn't think that not going along with her best friend's plan was a mistake.

"So in the end, I just decided to not take her up on that offer. But favorite daughter, Kirby, favorite son, Will, their wellbeing to me was more important than whatever career opportunity I could have had at the time," she said. "And I don't regret that."

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