Michelle Obama Tells Oprah Why She 'Sobbed for 30 Minutes' After Leaving the White House
Michelle Obama reveals she “sobbed for 30 minutes” the day she left the White House in January 2017 — but not because she was sad to go.
In a conversation with Oprah Winfrey about the former first lady’s new memoir, Becoming, Mrs. Obama, 54, shared that she broke down crying on the Air Force jet right after she and her husband departed the inauguration of President Donald Trump — an anecdote she didn’t share in her book.
“When I got on the plane I think I sobbed for 30 minutes,” she said at Tuesday night’s event kicking off her book tour, according to USA Today. “And I think it was just the release of eight years of trying to do everything perfectly. I said to Barack, ‘That was so hard. What we just did that was so hard and I’ve wanted to say that for eight years.’ ”
The mother of two continued, describing the people on stage during Trump’s 2017 inauguration: “I saw sameness, and that was the first time it struck me that this is going to be different … And then I listened to the speech and said ‘This is going to be really different.’ ”
She also joked that she felt like saying, “Bye, Felicia,” after she left the event on Marine One, a reference to the 1995 film Friday starring rapper Ice Cube. “I didn’t do it,” she joked as the crowd laughed.
During her chat with Winfrey, 64, the author also discussed her decision to enter marriage counseling with her husband, former President Barack Obama. It’s a topic she’s been especially open about recently, also talking about it with PEOPLE for Friday’s upcoming issue.
“Because we’re role models, it’s important for us to be honest and say, if you’re in a marriage and there are times you want to leave, that’s normal — because I felt that way,” she said in an exclusive at-home interview with PEOPLE. “There were definitely times when I wished things were different [with Barack], but I don’t think I ever thought, ‘I’m just checking out of this.’ “
The professional help seems to have worked, as the pair is currently reveling in their alone time together after eight years in the White House.
“We are finding each other again,” Obama revealed in the same interview. “We have dinners alone and chunks of time where it’s just us — what we were when we started this thing: no kids, no publicity, no nothing. Just us and our dreams.”
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The education and health advocate went on to reminisce about the couple’s recent getaway to Palm Springs — without daughters, Malia, 20, and Sasha, 17 — which marked “the first time in a long time it was just the two of us … And it was good. We swam, we sat, and he wrote because he’s still writing his book. So he’s a little resentful.”
Becoming is on sale now.