From 'Jackie Oh!' to Oprah: Tell-All Queen Expands Her Empire

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, December 14, 2006

Now, this is going to be interesting: Best-selling author Kitty Kelley is writing her next tell-all book on Oprah Winfrey.

"I see her as probably the most powerful woman in our society," Kelley told us yesterday. "I think Oprah has influenced every medium that she's touched." The book will be about "hope and promise and courage -- I think those are virtues that Oprah believes in strongly and encourages her audiences to believe in."

Ah, but this Washington writer is best known for her exhaustively researched, controversial biographies full of juicy, not-so-flattering revelations about subjects such as Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan , the British royal family and the Bush dynasty. The books included explosive and sometimes anonymous allegations -- widely disputed by the subjects -- including that Nancy Reagan slept with Sinatra, and President Bush used drugs while his father was in office. But Kelley's work has never been successfully challenged in court, and her books have sold millions of copies.

Wayne Kabak, Kelley's agent at William Morris, thinks the Winfrey tome could be her best-selling ever -- an agenty kind of thing to say, but entirely possible with Kelley's track record and Oprah's picture on the cover.

Kelley met Winfrey just once -- way back in the late 1970s when Oprah was co-hosting Baltimore's "People Are Talking" -- and hasn't spoken to her since. Two months into her research, the author says she hasn't heard one nasty rumor or story. "So far, I don't see anything negative on this woman. I think she's a real icon. . . . She's much more complex and complicated than just a talk show host. Maya Angelou has said she sees her as a true missionary. Everybody has a different take on Oprah."

Like all of the writer's previous subjects, Winfrey won't be cooperating with Kelley for the bio. "Yes, she is aware of the book," said a spokeswoman for Winfrey. "She has no plans to contribute."

The untitled book, published by Crown and due out in three years, has already yielded a huge advance for Kelley. "Oprah is a multimillion-dollar subject," she said.

Jenna Has a BF in B.A.? No Way, Sources Say

Jenna Bush Reacts Attends a Soccer Match
Just friends: Jenna Bush may have hung out with Ramiro Palazzo, but sources say he's not her boyfriend.(Marcos Brindicci - Reuters)
He's a boy, and he might be her friend, but he's definitely not her boyfriend.

That's the word from the Jenna Bush camp following claims in the Argentine media that the blond first twin has hooked up with a Buenos Aires hottie. Ramiro Gonzalez Palazzo, described in magazine and TV reports as a 25-year-old PR student, was quoted as saying how much fun he has with Jenna, calling her "humble and down-to-earth" and praising her for paying her own way when they go out.

Hmmmm. Well, the former charter-school teacher has been interning with UNICEF in Panama. And she and sister Barbara did spend a lively vacation in B.A. But sources acquainted with Jenna say she's still involved with longtime boyfriend Henry Hager. Laura Bush 's spokeswoman Susan Whitson even broke her usual no-comment-on-the-twins policy: "We have found that young men who talk to the press and claim to be the boyfriend of Barbara or Jenna are just expressing wishful thoughts."


Elizabeth Dole is recuperating after hip replacement surgery. A spokeswoman said the North Carolina senator, 70, had her right hip replaced in an operation at an undisclosed hospital on Tuesday and is expected to return to work after the holiday recess.

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