Photo Credit: George Napolitano/FilmMagic
Oprah Winfrey has reached a settlement in the defamation lawsuit filed against her by the former headmistress of her girls' school in South Africa.
Lerato Nomvuyo Mzamane was the top teacher at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Johannesburg when accusations surfaced that a dorm mother had sexually abused at least seven students in 2007. Mzamane filed a lawsuit against Winfrey after the media mogul gave a press a conference about the scandal.
The educator claimed the talk-show queen damaged her reputation with statements like, "It was my intention by putting somebody in charge who was African, and was female, I believe that (Mzamane) would care as much for these girls as I do myself. I'm sorry I was let down."
But the case that was scheduled to go to trial is over. "The two parties met woman to woman without their lawyers and are happy that they could resolve this dispute peacefully to their mutual satisfaction," attorneys for both sides said in a joint statement Tuesday.
"Ms. Winfrey testified in her deposition that she did not intend the implications placed on her words by the plaintiff," the lawyers continued. "Ms. Mzamane testified in her deposition that she has no evidence that Ms. Winfrey knowingly made a false statement about her or entertained serious doubt about the truth of what she said. We are pleased both parties have reached a conclusion."
Mzamane had sued Winfrey and Harpo Productions for at least $250,000 in damages.
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