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As a 14-year-old girl, hiding a pregnancy from her father, Oprah Winfrey was so desperate she contemplated suicide. “When I lost that baby, whom I had no connection to whatsoever, I … felt nothing but just, OK, relief. Because I thought before the baby was born, I’m going to have to kill myself,” she told Piers Morgan last night on his inaugural show. The closest she ever got, she said, was doing “stupid things like drinking detergent, and all that kind of crazy stuff that you do when you’re … really just trying to cry for help.”

She was particularly scared by her father’s words when she went to live with him, that he “would rather see a daughter of mine floating down the Cumberland River … than to bring shame on this family and the indecency of an illegitimate child.”