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There's a reason Gayle King wears a diamond necklace almost every day — and it's the story behind who gave it to her and why.
While appearing on Watch What Happens Live on Thursday, King was asked by a viewer about the necklace she's almost always seen wearing. Host Andy Cohen knew without even asking that it was a necklace gifted to the TV personality by her best friend Oprah Winfrey.
King, 67, confirmed that, and shared hat Winfrey gave it to King as a gift after her divorce from Bill Bumpus, to whom she was married from 1982 to 1993. (King and Bumpus share two adult children, Kirby and William, Jr.)
"[Winfrey] had it on an earring ... [and] she took it and made it a necklace for me," King shared of the heart-shaped diamond that hangs from a chain around her neck.
"She said, One day your heart will sing, from your heart to mine. You'll get through this," the CBS Mornings host recalled. "So it has a very special meaning to me."
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The duo has been friends for more than four decades, and it all started when they were in their 20s and working together in Baltimore. Winfrey was a news anchor at WJZ-TV and she offered King, then a production assistant/writer at the station, a place to crash for the night because bad weather was rolling into the area.
"We ended up talking all night long," Winfrey, 68, told PEOPLE earlier this year, adding that she spotted King a toothbrush and a dress for work the next day ("it was purple with a scoop neck and bell sleeves," King recalled). "We've literally been friends ever since."
Both are regularly approached by strangers who see themselves, and their own BFFs, in the inspiring pair. "I always get, 'This is my Oprah'," King told PEOPLE. "It's one of the biggest compliments."
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Winfrey added: "And I always get, 'This is my Gayle'. I understand what that means: long-term, standing in the gap, no matter what I'm here for you."
The two share such a close bond that King revealed just recently that when she and Bumpus were going through their divorce, the only two people she confided in with all the details were her mother and Winfrey.
"I was married to someone who found monogamy very challenging — which is difficult in a marriage," King told host Brooke Shields. "I think if I didn't have children, I would've never spoken to him again."
"Oprah — who has never been married and never had children — she is one of the best therapists ever," she continued. "If she had a second career, It would be [a therapist]. When I first caught [my ex] I didn't tell anyone but Oprah and my mother. I knew I could trust them."