Oprah Winfrey Explains Why She Never Married Longtime Partner Stedman Graham

Oprah Stedman GrahamThe media mogul had a very good reason behind her refusal to marry Graham—find out here. (

Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham have been an item for more than 30 years, but there’s a very good reason why they’ve remained partners over spouses.

In a new Vogue interview, the beloved media mogul said the topic of marriage hasn’t really been a point of discussion in her decades-old, committed relationship. “Nobody believes it, but it’s true,” she shared. “The only time I brought it up was when I said to Stedman, ‘What would have happened if we had actually gotten married?’ And the answer is: ‘We wouldn’t be together.’”

Oprah Stedman Graham

Stedman Graham and Oprah Winfrey attend a New York City opening in 1996. (

Winfrey then explained the logic behind the statement. “We would not have stayed together, because marriage requires a different way of being in this world,” she said. “His interpretation of what it means to be a husband and what it would mean for me to be a wife would have been pretty traditional, and I would not have been able to fit into that.”

Stepping out with my Valentine of almost 30 yrs! #iovinewedding

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on

Graham, however, proposed once, and Winfrey recalled that specific moment to Shonda Rhimes in a 2015 chat. “The moment he asked me to marry him, I was like ‘Oh, God! Now I actually have to get married?'” the multi-hyphenate said at the time. “But what I realized is, I don’t want to be married… Because I could not have the life that I created for myself. I couldn’t do it.”

About the Author

Esther Lee
Esther Lee
Esther is the Senior News Editor at The Knot. A self-proclaimed pop culture enthusiast, she appreciates a good celebrity interview just as much as she adores Nancy Meyers movies. You can find her kicking off her mornings with barre and a green juice, traveling and exploring new cultures, and rapidly scrolling her feed for the latest and greatest news. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @theestherlee.