Oprah Winfrey Says BFF Gayle King Has 'Always Felt Not a Shadow But the Light' from Her Success

Winfrey and King have remained close friends through Winfrey's meteoric rise as a mogul

If there’s one thing Oprah Winfrey has counted on for years, it’s the steady presence and support of her BFF Gayle King. And she knows how special that is.

The besties appear on the September cover of Winfrey’s O, The Oprah Magazine, with King making her first-ever appearance as a cover star for the magazine. The sweet moment comes as King has gained widespread acclaim for her work as an anchor on CBS This Morning, and no one is celebrating her success more than Winfrey.

The mogul, 65, opened up about how King, 64, always stood by her and never let Winfrey’s fame get in the way of their tight friendship.

“Now that Gayle’s a shining star on CBS This Morning, people often ask her how she felt being in the shadow of my success. The truth is, she always felt not a shadow but the light,” Winfrey says in the issue. “We couldn’t have remained friends if she’d perceived it as a shadow. I would have sensed that, and I wouldn’t have been able to be as open. A true friend can’t be jealous of you, or want to take advantage of you in any way.”

Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King
Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey on the cover of O, The Oprah Winfrey Magazine. Ruven Afanador

As the anchor of CBS This Morning, King’s career has never been hotter. Her March interview with embattled singer R. Kelly showed the audience an entirely different side of the journalist. Her ability to maintain control while Kelly grew increasingly upset and erratic went viral and won her millions of fans.

With a new contract, she leads a revitalized and surging CBS This Morning show, teamed with Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil under the watchful eye of new executive producer Diana Miller.

“I always believed that the somebody who cared as much about the news, the culture, the work, would be seen and noticed,” Winfrey recently told PEOPLE. “Excellence cannot be denied.”

She added, “Gayle has a deep, deep curiosity and yearning to know. That’s the reason why this moment doesn’t surprise me. What surprises me is that it took them so long to figure it out, everybody else so long to see it.”

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