Oprah Winfrey's mom, Vernita Lee, dead at 83

Patricia Amanda Faye Lee Vernita Lee Oprah Winfrey- Courtesy of the Lee Family

A representative for Oprah, 64, said the talk show host would not be releasing a separate statement at this time. File picture: Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP.

A family spokesperson said Lee had died at her Milwaukee home on 22 November, the same day as Thanksgiving, and that private funeral services had already been held. No other details were provided.

Born in 1935 in segregated Mississippi, Lee worked as a housekeeper while Oprah was raised by her maternal grandmother until she was 6-years-old when she was sent to Wisconsin to live with her mother. Interestingly, Oprah is one of the richest women in the world, due to her years of successful television programs as well as her enterprises, including the network, OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Oprah and her mother had a strained relationship that the talk show megastar openly discussed her hard past with Lee.

Lee is also survived by her daughter Patricia, whom she gave up for adoption at birth. Lee's two other children, Jeffrey Lee and Patricia Lee Lloyd, died in 1989 and 2003, respectively.

Nissan drives out chairman after arrest
Ghosn and Kelly were arrested and dismissed from their positions this week over allegations of financial misconduct. Carlos Ghosn was arrested for hiding his actual income and declaring it less than original to reduce income tax.

Memorial donations in Lee's name can be made to Feeding America.

She shared: "I'm a Christian lady, and if you're a Christian person, it helps you to deal with situations like that". Lee gave birth to Oprah's younger half-sister, who died in 2003.

'I suddenly land in a place that's completely foreign to me. "To my mother, I say, 'You can let this shame go'".

Oprah had two half-siblings on her mother's side. Sources said that "even though she didn't have the best relationship with Vernita, her passing was really devastating for her".

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