AUSTIN, Texas – “Emotional” doesn’t come close to describing Lance Armstrong’s conversation with Oprah Winfrey – an interview that included his confession about using performance-enhancing drugs to win seven Tour de France titles, Winfrey said Tuesday.
She recounted her session with Armstrong on “CBS This Morning” and promoted what has become a two-part special on her OWN network, even while international doping officials said it wouldn’t be enough to save the disgraced cyclist’s career.
“I don’t think ‘emotional’ begins to describe the intensity or the difficulty he experienced in talking about some of these things,” Winfrey said.
Armstrong admitted during the interview at an Austin hotel that he used drugs to help him win the titles.
“It was surprising to me,” she said. “I would say that for myself, my team, all of us in the room, we were mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers.”
Winfrey said she went right at Armstrong with tough questions and, during a break, he asked if they would lighten up at some point. Still, Winfrey said she did not have to dig and that he was “pretty forthcoming.”
“I felt that he was thoughtful. I thought that he was serious,” she said. “I thought that he certainly had prepared for this moment. I would say that he met the moment.”
As stunning as Armstrong’s confession was for someone who relentlessly denied using PEDs, the World Anti-Doping Agency said he must confess under oath if he wants to reduce his lifetime ban from sports.
The cyclist was stripped of his Tour titles, lost most of his endorsements and was forced to leave his cancer charity, Livestrong, last year after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued a 1,000-page report that accused him of masterminding a long-running doping scheme.
Oxygen drops plan for “All My Babies’ Mamas”
NEW YORK – Oxygen Media has pulled the plug on “All My Babies’ Mamas,” a reality special the network was developing about a musician who has fathered 11 children with 10 different mothers.
The network offered no reason for curtailing the project. In a statement issued Tuesday, Oxygen said that, “as part of our development process, we have reviewed casting and decided not to move forward with the special.”
The one-hour program would have featured Atlanta rap artist Shawty Lo, his children and their mothers. It was expected to air later this year.
Chelsea gets leading role 16 years later
WASHINGTON – Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton has signed on to help promote President Obama’s inaugural kick-off event to get Americans engaged in serving their communities.
Inaugural planners announced Tuesday that Clinton will be honorary chair of the National Day of Service, the president’s call for Americans to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the holiday weekend celebrating his birthday. They said Clinton would headline a service summit on the National Mall on Saturday; other participants will include Eva Longoria, Angela Bassett, Ben Folds, Yolanda Adams, Star Jones and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, the vice president’s son.
It’s a new inaugural role for Clinton, 32, who participated in the festivities as an adolescent, standing next to her father, Bill Clinton, as he was sworn into office in 1993 and 1997.
She now is an NBC News special correspondent.