Barbara Walters Reveals '70s Affair With Married Senator

TV host drops bombshell on relationship with Mass. Republican Brooke on Oprah
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2008 3:47 PM CDT
In this image released by Harpo Productions, journalist Barbara Walters, left, holds the hand of Oprah Winfrey.   (AP Photo/Harpo Productions, George Burns)
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(Newser) – Barbara Walters has revealed she had a long affair in the 1970s with Edward Brooke, America’s first elected black senator. In a bombshell admission on a forthcoming episode of Oprah, the grande dame of TV anchors says the married Brooke—a moderate Massachusetts Republican who served in 1967-79—was “exciting” and “brilliant,” the AP reports.

Walters, 78, said she and Brooke hid the affair until now to protect their careers; one friend told her at the time, “This is going to ruin him. You’ve got to break this off.” Asked by Oprah if she and the senator were in love, Walters responded, “I was certainly, I don’t know, I was certainly infatuated.” Brooke, now 88, has since divorced and remarried.