Oprah Winfrey on Why She Kept Her Weight Watchers Investment Secret: I Wanted to Play the Stay out of Jail Card

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah WinfreyMichael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Apparently, the secret to getting rich is knowing how to keep a secret.

As CBS This Morning‘s Gayle King documented her success with Weight Watchers via Instagram, her best friend Oprah Winfrey stayed silent. On Monday, however, Winfrey finally shared a major secret: she had invested $ 40 million in Weight Watchers for a 10 percent stake in the company. In a day, stock prices skyrocketed and Winfrey earned a whopping $ 70 million.

When Winfrey appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Friday, she explained how the deal was made and joked about why she didn’t clue Ellen DeGeneres before telling the world about her partnership. “Weight Watchers called me in like mid-July,” she said. “We had our first meeting in August and they said, ‘We would like you to come onboard our program and do what you do: self-empowerment, self-enrichment. We think that you can bring another level to us for Weight Watchers.’ I said, ‘I can’t do it unless I actually go with the program. First of all, I’ve never endorsed anything. I’ve never been a spokesperson for anybody. So, I will have to do the program myself to see if I actually like those points, because I’ve been resistant to points.'”

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Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneresMichael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Winfrey explained that in the early ’70s she never went to a Weight Watchers meeting, but added that she “might have signed up” for the program and not followed through with it. Back then, she recalled being opposed to the company’s point system. But in July, Winfrey said, “‘Let me try it and see if I like it.’ As of today, since Aug. 12, I have lost 15 pounds. But I am excited about Weight Watchers being able to bring a healthier more holistic approach for everybody.”

The TV mogul’s reason for keeping DeGeneres in the dark was simple: she didn’t want to be in trouble for insider trading. “Now, I didn’t tell you about it because I wanted to play the stay out of jail card—for both of us!” said the TV titan, who reiterated, “We want to stay out of jail.” Winfrey insisted she “certainly didn’t know” that she would double her investment in one day.

Winfrey said Weight Watchers has made her accountable for herself.

“So far today, I’ve probably had…17 points. So, it means now I have 13 points left. I get 30 a day,” Winfrey told DeGeneres. “And it really depends upon your weight, your size, whatever. I know I can now have 13 points for the day.”

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