The long-running feud between “Late Show” leader David Letterman and talk titan Oprah Winfrey began much earlier than previously suspected.
During an interview with "The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart, Letterman confessed the secret source of Winfrey’s anger.
Stewart, like most who followed the feud, simply assumed it all began with Letterman’s infamous 1995 Academy Awards show joke (the “Uma? Oprah. Oprah? Uma.” incident).
“Oh, no, no, no. This predates the Academy Awards,” Letterman explained. “She hated me long before then.”
In Winfrey’s defense, Letterman gave her cause. As the he explained to Stewart, many years ago, he spotted O at the same restaurant where he and his then-girlfriend were dining. That’s when Letterman decided to pull an unprovoked prank.
“I said to Regina, ‘This is hilarious, I’m going to make Oprah buy us lunch,’” Letterman recalled.
The late night host the told the waiter the bill was on the daytime legend’s tab.
“Then we walk — we got a free lunch,” Letterman said. “That’s where it started.”
As for where it ended, that part is public knowledge. Oprah buried the hatchet in 2005 when she appeared on Letterman’s show after once vowing to never do so again.