Oprah Winfrey once staged a robbery as a child in a bid to get new glasses.

The wholesome media mogul reveals she was so desperate to trade in her ugly bi-focal spectacles, she lied about an attacker breaking into her parents' home when she was 12.

She recalls, "I had these awful cat-eye glasses and mine were bi-focal and I wanted a new pair and my mother couldn't afford it, so I broke them and staged a robbery and put myself in the hospital and pretended to have amnesia when she came to see me.

"She told me, 'Don't accidentally fall down and break them,' so I needed to do something else."

But there was no fooling Winfrey's mother: "She asked the doctor to leave the room and she had one of those moments that negro mothers can have with their children."