While people everywhere are practicing social distancing in response to the coronavirus outbreak, many are staying in their homes with a select few family members or friends to get through the quarantine together. For Oprah, however, she chose to stay separate from her longtime partner Stedman Graham, having him isolate in the guest house on her Santa Barbara property because he was “late to the party.”
The mogul joined an Instagram live stream hosted on The O Magazine’s account where digital director Arianna Davis asked Oprah what social distancing looks like in her household. And while it seemed rather laidback as Oprah was hanging out in the kitchen with her dog and two graduates from her school in South Africa — who she has come to call her “daughters” — Oprah quickly pointed out who wasn’t part of the group.
Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham
Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham
Talk show host and actress Oprah Winfrey, recipient of the first Bob
Hope Humanitarian Award at the 54th annual Emmy Awards September 22,
2002 in Los Angeles, relaxes with companion Stedman Graham at the
Governor's Ball following the show. REUTERS/Fred Prouser REUTERS
Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham arrive on the red carpet for the Kennedy Center Honors at the Kennedy Center in Washington, December 5, 2010. Winfrey, former Beatle Paul McCartney, country music legend Merle Haggard, Broadway composer and lyricist Jerry Herman of "Hello Dolly!" fame, and dancer-choreographer-director Bill T. Jones are being honored in this year's instalment of the annual lifetime achievement nods. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA)
Talk show host Oprah Winfrey reacts to the crowd as she arrives with boyfriend Stedman Graham for the People's Choice Awards January 11 in Santa Monica. Winfrey won Favorite Television Performer at the awards show. This is the third People's Choice Award Winfrey has received. The People's Choice is a show to recognize the public's favorites as determined by polling.
Oprah Winfrey, chairman of Harpo Entertainment Group, left, attends the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference with Stedman Graham in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Thursday, July 7, 2011. Media executives are gathering at Allen & Co.'s Sun Valley conference this week looking to shed assets such as the Hulu LLC video website and G4 game channel amid a declining global stock market and slowing economic growth. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WHITESBORO, NJ - AUGUST 30: Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the 20th Reunion Festival August 30 ,2008 in Whitesboro, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 4: (AFP OUT) Oprah Winfrey, one of the 2010 Kennedy Center honorees, arrives with Stedman Graham for the formal artist's dinner for the Kennedy Center Honors at the United States Department of State December 4, 2010 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 05: Stedman Graham and Oprah Winfrey attend 'The Butler' premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on August 5, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham arrives at the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
SANTA BARBARA, CA - DECEMBER 06: Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham attend the 'Selma' and the Legends Who Paved the Way gala at Bacara Resort on December 6, 2014 in Goleta, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham arrive at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 22, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
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“There’s no Stedman in the kitchen,” she said. “Stedman is in the guest house because you all know I had pneumonia late last year, and you could still hear the raspiness in my throat sometimes when I talk. I had just gotten off of antibiotics last week because I had a bronchial infection, and so Stedman was late to the party.”
Oprah went on to explain that Graham “was one of those going, ‘I don’t see what everyone’s getting so upset about,’” and talked about how the response to the coronavirus was “fear-based.” As a result, he continued to work and travel until Thursday and found himself following Oprah’s protocol once he finally arrived in California.
“Stedman did not arrive from Chicago until Thursday, he had been speaking in St. Louis...he'd been on planes, so Stedman is like 'What's the procedure for coming home?'“ Oprah recalled. “The procedure is...you ain't coming and sleeping in my bed! And literally, he goes, 'I'm not?' And I go, 'Have you not been paying attention to the news? Social distancing does not mean you go and sleep in the same bed with the person! When you just got off American Airlines!'“
The O Magazine later clarified that Graham does not have the virus. However, Oprah is taking extra precautions because of his travel. “We cannot play those games,” she said, “so we’re taking it very seriously.”
Oprah also explained that Graham is “happy to keep me safe.