Gayle King Admits She Never Should Have Said Oprah Was ‘Hospitalized’

Elyse Jankowski/Variety via Getty Images
Elyse Jankowski/Variety via Getty Images

Gayle King realizes that she probably said… too much.

Days after announcing to the world that her best friend and famous host Oprah Winfrey had “stuff” coming out of “both ends,” causing her to miss a planned appearance on Tuesday’s episode of CBS Mornings, King is in full-on mea culpa mode.

“I won’t get too graphic,” King said Tuesday before doing just that. “Needless to say, she ended up in the hospital [with] dehydration [and] had to get an IV.” Her comments resulted in several news reports stating that Winfrey was “hospitalized,” suggesting a longer stint that both King and Oprah now say was not the case.

King posted a video to Instagram the following day of a FaceTime chat she had with Winfrey after the news of her “hospitalization” went global.

“[Oprah] was sidelined with a stomach virus that caused such dehydration that she went to the hospital to get an IV drip,” King wrote in the caption. “I thought I made that clear but next thing I know I’m surprised to see headlines that scream ‘Oprah’s hospitalized!’ (She was NOT!).”

In the video, King asks Winfrey, “Were you offended because I said what I said about what happened and how you’re recovering?” She adds, “I really didn’t think it was a big deal or something that would be upsetting to you, otherwise I never would have said it.”

Winfrey agrees that her friend wouldn’t purposely offend, telling King, “I know you wouldn’t,” and “I thought what you were trying to do was explain why I wasn’t there and [you were trying to] do that in a definitive way”— because, as King also says in the video, “you never miss” appearances for her official book club picks.

“The point I was trying to make, America, was that it had to be something that would keep her from getting on a plane and coming,” King says. That said, King’s comments set off a firestorm of media coverage and correspondence for Winfrey.

“Everybody I’ve ever known who has access to my email [addresses] has called me to say ‘Are you alright?’” Winfrey says in the video. She goes on to explain that the issue was that “I couldn’t keep enough water down to get hydrated” so “I went to the emergency room for that and that’s just it.”

After clearing up the situation, Winfrey issued a warning for anyone watching: “Keep your hands washed,” she says, since her doctor says the stomach virus she caught can live on “door knobs and railings” and other surfaces for “10 hours.”

Now King, in an attempt to clean up the mess, has resorted to wearing a t-shirt that says “OPRAH is FINE!” according to another Instagram post.

“Just got back to the office and 10 people asked me the same question,” King wrote in the caption, “Here’s the answer!”

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