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Watch Oprah Winfrey Break Down Over Gayle King and Lesbian Rumors

What is it about Barbara Walters that turns mere mortals into blubbering, soft-focus wrecks? It certainly isn't her interrogative technique: In this clip from her upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey (airing tomorrow on ABC), Walters mildly instructs the talk-show titan to describe her friendship with Gayle King, and if the editing is to be believed, Winfrey promptly loses it and breaks into tears — "Tissue please!" she instructs an offscreen minion, adding "I now need tissue!" — before launching into a full-on eulogy for her still-very-much-alive friend, describing her as "the mother I never had. She is the sister everybody would want. She is the friend that everybody deserves." (Forget it, Barbara, it's Chinatown.) Notably absent from Winfrey's litany is, "She is also the secret lover everyone would keep in plain sight," and when it comes to that rumor, Walters is stumped: Why, she asks, does everyone intimate that Winfrey and King are a romantic couple? "I'm not a lesbian," Winfrey snaps. "I'm not even kind of a lesbian." Notable takeaway from her clipped delivery: Winfrey thinks the word "lesbian" has a "z" in it, and she is not playing.