Oprah apologizes for slamming author James Frey

Wed May 13, 2009 6:34pm EDT
 
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oprah Winfrey has apologized to author James Frey for shaming him on her TV chat show amid revelations he had fabricated parts of his memoir, her spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Winfrey's apology was first reported on the Web site of Vanity Fair, with the author saying he felt "grateful" for Winfrey's gesture. The two have a tumultuous history.

Winfrey had been one of Frey's most vocal boosters, naming his 2003 drugs-and-alcohol memoir "A Million Little Pieces" one of her "book club" choices in 2005 and propelling it to bestseller status.

But the next year, after it was revealed Frey had invented some details in the supposedly non-fiction memoir and written that he once spent three months behind bars when in reality it was a few hours, Winfrey lambasted him as a guest on her show.

"It is difficult for me to talk to you, because I really feel duped," Winfrey said on the 2006 broadcast.

She went on to accuse the author of betraying his readers. Her berating of Frey was among the most public embarrassments for the author, who apologized for "lying." A month after the broadcast his publisher Riverhead Books dropped him.

But Winfrey and Frey appear to have reconciled.

Frey said Winfrey called him last fall to tell him "I felt I owe you an apology," and she explained that her lambasting of him sprang from her sense of feeling betrayed, according to the Vanity Fair report.   Continued...

 
<p>Oprah Winfrey poses in Beverly Hills, California December 5, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>