Oprah Winfrey -- actress, philanthropist, media mogul -- has long been forthcoming about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. In this clip from the new PBS/AOL documentary "MAKERS: Women Who Make America," Oprah talks about the experience that unexpectedly helped her heal -- and what she wishes she could say to disgraced ex-Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, who was found guilty of abusing 10 boys and is now serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence.
"From the time I was 9 I was raped," Oprah says in the video. "And every time I have the opportunity to sit down with people who've either been molested or... in my case, the greatest education has come from talking to men who actually molest."
Talking to child molesters, Oprah says, has helped her understand what happened to her. "Every child who is neglected becomes a possible victim for somebody who is preying on children," she says. "Because that is what they are looking for. They are looking for the sad child. For the lonely child. For the child who is seeking attention and love in places where they can't get it. And that was me."
Child predators, she says, are "masterful at spotting those children" -- and once she realized that, it helped her heal. "I actually have been healed by listening to... stories of how other men have done this," she says. "It was on my show. And I was probably... 44? 46?... that I actually got freed."
In the clip, Oprah reveals that it wasn't until she heard child molesters talk about the procedure they followed when luring children that she had her epiphany. She says, "I realized, Oh. It really wasn't my fault. It really wasn't my fault. My 9-year-old self was no match for a 40-year-old who's already decided 'I'm gonna getcha.' And that's why when I hear about Penn State, when I hear about Sandusky... what I really wanted to do was to sit down with Sandusky and to say, you know, 'As human being to human being, I am begging you to come forward, tell the truth, admit your problem, save these boys'... I mean, the worst thing is for somebody to do it and then say they didn't do it."
Oprah's interview is part of "MAKERS: Women Who Make America," a joint PBS/AOL documentary project that tells the story of how a variety of female leaders have shaped America over the past 50 years. Watch the clip to hear Oprah tell more of her story.