Leave it to Oprah to uncover the truth!
In what the Queen of Talk described as "the biggest interview" she's ever done, Oprah Winfrey sat down with shamed champion cyclist Lance Armstrong for a no-holds-barred chat for "Oprah's Next Chapter." The interview, taped Monday, will air on Oprah's network later this week.
After more than a decade of denial, Armstrong finally came clean and admitted to Oprah that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France. A source told the Associated Press Armstrong apologized profusely to his team and 100 staffers for the cancer support charity, Livestrong.
Last fall, Armstrong's long career was all but obliterated when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him for life from professional cycling.
At the time he vehemently denied that he ever took banned substances during his career and called the USADA's investigation a "witch hunt."
But the disgraced cyclist apparently purged his demons to Oprah.
Following the interview taping on Monday, Oprah tweeted: "Just wrapped with @lancearmstrong. More than 2 1/2 hours. He came READY!"And so did she. The seasoned interviewer reportedly had 112 questions ready and waiting for him, and at one point Armstrong asked her, "Will there be a point where you lighten up?"
During an appearance on "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday, the OWN head honcho said: "I would say he didn't come clean in the manner I expected. It was surprising to me, for myself, my team… we were mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers." But she added, "I feel that he answered the questions in a way that he was ready."
Oprah said she prepared for the interview "like it was a college exam."
"I think the most important questions and answers that people around the world have been waiting to hear were answered," she said, and added she was satisfied with how the interview played out.
Meanwhile, Oprah's Armstrong interview will undoubtedly score big ratings for her television network. According to Forbes, it's predicted the Armstrong interview could garner up to 3.5 million viewers (the same number as her interview with the late Whitney Houston's family), many of whom have never bothered to find OWN on their TV remote. It could also provide the network with future bargaining power with pay TV distributors.
While Oprah's 1993 interview with Michael Jackson was seen by an unprecedented 90 million people around the world, her recent big gets have scored OWN its highest ratings ever. In addition to the Houston interview, her interview last August with pop superstar Rihanna netted 2.5 million viewers.
"Oprah's Next Chapter' interview with Lance Armstrong is scheduled to air in two parts, on Jan. 17 and Jan. 18 on OWN.
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