“It Felt Like I Already Knew Her…”: Michael Jai White Shares an Untold 36-Year-Old Story of Working as a Bodyguard for Oprah Winfrey

Published 09/27/2023, 6:44 AM EDT

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Would you believe that? Turns out this MMA icon who’s been a Hollywood star for over 27 years has worked as a bodyguard for Oprah Winfrey. Guess what? We’re talking about Hollywood’s MMA icon Michael Jai White. 

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As it turns out, way before his early acting days, the ‘Tyson’ star had taken up the daunting task of protecting ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ host. In a recent interview, White shared an untold story of his first meeting with the ‘Queen of All Media.’ So, why is this memory unforgettable for the Hollywood actor? Let’s hear it from the ‘Black Dynamite’ star himself!

Michael Jai White shares an untold story of his first encounter with Oprah Winfrey

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Michael Jai White recently sat down for another intriguing interview on the DJVLAD podcast. This time, however, the focus was not on fights or combat sports – but a rather peculiar odd job that the then 19-year-old White had undertaken. 

Delving into this, Vlad brought up the topic saying: “I remember that you had posted a picture on your Twitter – that you were actually Oprah’s bodyguard at one point.”

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White’s story begins with his college years in New Haven, Connecticut. He vividly recalled, “Oh yeah – I body guarded her on a couple of occasions, back in college. I think I was about 19…I’ll never forget when I first met her. Because when she was coming to the college in New Haven Connecticut.”

Read More: After Working With Randy Couture Michael Jai White Speaks on Why He Works With Fighters in His Movies

The reason for their meeting? White had just won a championship, and the college requested his assistance in accompanying Oprah. As Oprah and her assistant disembarked from the plane, White’s eyes were immediately drawn to a peculiar detail—Oprah’s pearl sneakers.

How White and Oprah Winfrey connected almost instantly

Elaborating on the story, the Hollywood actor revealed a candid exchange that broke the ice. He further added, “As soon as she stepped off my eyes just looked directly at the sneakers. I was like – [on] my face, I couldn’t hide [it]. I was like, ‘They didn’t look too cool.’”

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But he couldn’t help but show his surprise, and Oprah, ever the down-to-earth personality, noticed. She playfully confronted White about his gaze – “She was like, ‘Oh, you don’t like them?’ I was like, ‘Oh well – they’re different!’”

To White, it felt as if they had known each other for ages. Oprah’s approachability and warmth left an indelible impression on the young bodyguard, making this encounter an unforgettable memory for Michael Jai White. Moreover, he concluded his story, with a touching reminder of Oprah Winfrey’s humility: “[Then] she’s like, ‘Oh, it’s like that.’ So, immediately it felt like I already knew her, and we were just cool as hell. And she was just so down to earth…”

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It’s a remarkable and unexpected story from a man known for his martial arts prowess and acting talent, highlighting the fascinating intersections of lives in the world of entertainment. So, what do you make of this untold story? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!

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Written by:

Ashish Tiwari

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Ashish is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. With an unwavering love for the sport, he immerses himself in the thrilling world of MMA, capturing the essence of each high-octane fight and delving into the intricacies of a fighter's strategy. His in-depth knowledge and analytical approach enable him to provide unique insights into the sport.
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Edited by:

Yeswanth Praveen

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