Oprah Winfrey revealed a shocking secret to her expectant viewers on Monday : a long-lost half-sister named Patricia!

Patricia was given up for adoption by Oprah's mother Vernita Lee in 1963.  Oprah was born in 1954.  In 1963, she was 9 years old and living with her father Vernon Winfrey in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

Vernita Lee gave up Patricia for adoption because of financial reasons, according to USA TODAY. 

 

The latter lived in foster homes until she was adopted at the age of 7.

 

Oprah had known about the existence of Patricia for months.  However, she kept it a secret until Monday.

 

When asked why she chose to reveal it on TV, she said the news would break eventually and she wanted the public to hear it from her directly.

 

Previously, she had the unpleasant experience of having one of her family members sell the story of her teenage pregnancy to a tabloid.  This time, Winfrey is likely motivated by the desire to control the revelation on her own terms.

 

The discovery of Patricia and Oprah's relationship was reportedly made by Patricia's son Andre, who dug through birth certificates online.

 

Winfrey, Patricia, and Vernita Lee (who is still alive and living in Milwaukee) had a reunion lat week, reported USA TODAY.

 

Before Oprah's official revelation, her unofficial biographer Kitty Kelley speculated that a long-lost half-sister was the secret.

 

Over the weekend, speculation was rife because Winfrey promised to reveal a shocking family secret in a promotional teaser video for Monday's show.