Published October 31, 2013
Oprah Winfrey may be one of the most powerful women on earth, so if you cross her, look out.
Just ask Jenny McCarthy.
On Oct. 29, McCarthy appeared on Andy Cohen’s gabfest on Bravo, “Watch What Happens Live,” where she admitted that she was “scared of Oprah.”
“The View” co-host was very open with Cohen, explaining the circumstances surrounding her sudden departure from Winfrey’s OWN network back in 2011. “I did a deal with her for five years, but we, we kind of shook hands. I would be scared she would beat me up.”
As FOX411 first reported, Jenny McCarthy decided to cut bait with Winfrey after growing frustrated with the creative team at Winfrey’s fledging cable network.
“Jenny wasn’t thrilled with the direction that OWN producers were going with on the show,” a source told us exclusively at the time. “She had been working with Oprah and her producers for over a year, developing this project for OWN. Jenny finally decided to embrace Oprah’s philosophy, which is to ‘follow your bliss.’ Well, Jenny followed her bliss and walked right off the project.”
At the time, reps for OWN denied that McCarthy ever had a show in development at the network. After FOX411 published a report that Winfrey and McCarthy had, in fact, parted ways, OWN representatives released a statement to “Access Hollywood” saying that “the project was never in the works for the cable channel.”
But on Thursday, McCarthy confirmed that she did, in fact, have a show in development at OWN. ”It didn't [work out]," she explained to Cohen. "I left.”
The former Playboy Playmate even admitted that she has been avoiding the talk show titan for the past couple of years. “I am terrified,” she said, not entirely exaggerating. “I would be, like, oh no [if we ran into each other]!”
Cohen, smiling wryly, asked, ”Do you think you're on her 'list'?"
"I'm sure there's probably a lot of people on her sh*t list,” laughed McCarthy. “But I'm probably number four.”
OWN’s struggles--with or without McCarthy-- have been well documented. Discovery Communications, OWN’s parent company, has sunk at least $509 million dollars into the network since its launch in 2011. OWN has also suffered from a series of expensive, high-profile flops, including Rosie O’Donnell’s failed talk show. At one point, OWN’s ratings were even worse than the channel it replaced, Discovery Health.
Winfrey has openly acknowledged her struggles with the network. She told People magazine that last summer she had suffered from “the symptoms of a nervous breakdown” after a series of reports of OWN’s very public failings.
“People were counting me out,” she explained to the magazine. “After 25 years of being No. 1, I had become accustomed to success. I didn’t expect failure. I was tested and I had to dig deep.”
But even though McCarthy and Winfrey are no longer BFFs, Winfrey has no hard feelings. On Wednesday she tweeted, “.@JennyMcCarthy don't have a shxt list. If I did you'd never be on it. Wishing you only good fortune, love and light and watching @TheView.”