Stedman Graham says he’s more than just Oprah Winfrey’s partner.
Graham has been at the brunt of numerous jokes for several years over his relationship with Winfrey. Many have referred their relationship as an arrangement or blatantly pinned Graham as Winfrey’s sidekick. But, Graham says he’s much more than the lover of his billionaire bae. During an appearance on The Kylie & Jackie O Show on Wednesday, the 69-year-old businessman discussed being his own person while being in love with the Queen of Talk.
“I’m defined a lot by my relationship with Oprah, but it has nothing to do with me,” Graham said, who has been with Winfrey since 1986. “That’s how you define me! You don’t have the tools to define yourself. So, for me, I’m defined a lot by my relationship with Oprah, but it has nothing to do with me.” Winfrey and Graham got engaged in 1993 but never officially jumped the broom.
Graham says that through the years, he’s always focused on his individuality and own personal interests. “That’s how you define me, it’s not how I define myself, which is why I can maintain the equality with someone who is unbelievable because I’m not focused on their development as a way to equalize and create freedom,” he said. “I’m focused on my own development. I’m developing a process of continuous improvement every day based on my skills, talents, abilities, purpose, and passions. That’s what makes me happy.”
He continued: “So, I don’t care what you do. I could care less who you are or what you do or what you’ve been able to accomplish because it has nothing to do with who I am as a person, Graham said. He added that he and Winfrey have many things in common. “We think the same, we’re in the same business,” he explained.” The difference is, she does it in the air, I do it on the ground, so I’m grassroots.”
Meanwhile, regarding marriage, Winfrey said she knew it was best, at the time, to not be married. “In 1993, the moment after I said yes to his proposal, I had doubts, I realized I didn’t actually want a marriage. I wanted to be asked. I wanted to know he felt I was worthy of being his missus, but I didn’t want the sacrifices, the compromises, the day-in-day-out commitment required to make a marriage work. My life with the show was my priority, and we both knew it,” said Winfrey. “He and I agree that had we tied the marital knot, we would not still be together,” she said in a column for O, The Oprah Magazine. She said she and Graham have a “spiritual partnership.”
“Our relationship works because he created an identity beyond being ‘Oprah’s man’ (he teaches Identity Leadership around the world and has written multiple books on the subject). And because we share all the values that matter (integrity being number one). And because we relish seeing the other fulfill and manifest their destiny and purpose,” Winfrey said.