I apologize in advance for the crassness of some of these repeated epithets.

Mel Gibson had his anti-Semitic I-Own-Half-of-Malibu-Gate; Michael Richards had Something-That-Rhymes-with-Tigger-Gate; Isaiah Washington had ChokeGate, which unfortunately turned into FaggotGate in the flush of Grey’s Anatomy’s Golden Globes win; and now Rachael Ray might have OprahGate.

In a story titled “Racial Ray,” TMZ reports that their sources told them about a 2005 dinner Rachael Ray had at Houston’s Restaurant in the Century City mall, during which Ray acted quite unlike her shiny, happy self.

Not only does the TMZ story claim that Ray drank “a minimum of four glasses” of red wine and that she was rude about the food, but it also claims that Ray attacked Oprah (and other celebrities) to her friends. While there’s probably not much out of the ordinary with someone on Team Aniston calling Brad Pitt a “pussy boy” and Angelina Jolie a “skanky, backdoor, c*nt,” it was a stupid move to start insulting Oprah. Especially since at the time of the dinner, Ray was in the process of selling her daytime talk show to Harpo Productions.

TMZ says:

We’re told Ray became ‘extremely loud and aggressive,’ and began dissing Oprah. Sources say she told the group about a portrait of Oprah that sits in the lobby of Harpo Productions in Chicago. It’s from the movie ‘Beloved’ and shows Winfrey’s back, enhanced with scars. She’s also wearing a skirt from the slavery era.

Back at the table, sources say Ray launched into attack mode: ‘Why is she wearing slave drag? She obviously has problems being black.’

Rachael Ray’s director of publicity admits the dinner took place but denies that Ray said anything of that sort about Oprah or “a celebrity couple she has never even met.” The director of publicity went on to say that other people sitting at the table with Ray—without prompting, apparently —also denied hearing Ray say any such things about her future sugar mommy.

I’ve watched enough of Rachael Ray’s Inside Dish on the Food Network to see that Rachael likes her wine and that she can get quite loud and obnoxious when she’s really liking it. However, I can’t help but wonder why these witnesses to Rachael’s in vino veristupid are just coming forward now. Why not in December 2005 when the dinner originally took place? Why not when the deal between Ray and Harpo was announced? It’s curious.

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