March 08, 2018 10:34 AM

Oprah Winfrey has a strategy on how to avoid tabloid rumors: don’t give them anything to write about.

In the first episode of Goop’s podcast, Gwyneth Paltrow spoke with Winfrey about living life in the spotlight. The media mogul admitted that she used to find reading untrue stories about herself bothersome — and even turned to Maya Angelou for advice.

“Every time I would get so upset about it, Maya would say, ‘Babe, you don’t have anything to do with that,'” she said. “I’d say, ‘But they’re saying, and it’s not true. You don’t know what it’s like when people are saying things about–‘… It’s been happening so long.”

Winfrey, 64, shared that Angelou told her to focus on the more positive aspects of her life.

“She actually said, ‘Whoever’s sitting at the typewriter, they’re thinking, What can we say this week that’s going to sell some stories?’ “

But Winfrey admitted that she stopped stepping out with longtime partner Stedman Graham to avoid the inevitable stories that would follow the outing.

“It’s also why I stopped making as many public appearances with Stedman because I realized that every time there’s a new photograph, there’s a new story,” she said on the podcast, produced with production house Cadence13.

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon

Winfrey and Graham met in 1986 at a charity event and have been together ever since. Despite their over 30 years together, Winfrey has previously said the topic of tying the knot was never seriously on the table for the couple.

“Nobody believes it, but it’s true,” Winfrey told Vogue. “The only time I brought it up was when I said to Stedman, ‘What would have happened if we had actually gotten married?’ And the answer is: ‘We wouldn’t be together.’ We would not have stayed together, because marriage requires a different way of being in this world.”

The Wrinkle in Time star explained that she and the businessman, 66, feel comfortable with the current state of their relationship. “His interpretation of what it means to be a husband and what it would mean for me to be a wife would have been pretty traditional,” she said, “and I would not have been able to fit into that.”

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