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When you're the most influential woman in media, you can turn a debut novel into an overnight bestseller -- or kill someone's career in one fell swoop. And the person who's putting Oprah Winfrey on trial claims that the talk-show maven did just that.
Nomvuyo Mzamane, the former headmistress of Oprah's South African Leadership Academy for Girls, filed a lawsuit against the media mogul back in October, claiming Oprah destroyed her career and reputation by blaming her for the sexual-abuse allegations against the school that surfaced in 2007. Winfrey's lawyers tried to have the case dismissed, saying that the TV mogul's negative comments were simply a statement of opinion -- but on Tuesday a federal judge ruled that Mzamane has enough evidence to make Oprah stand trial.
The trial will take place in Philadelphia beginning on March 29. It's predicted that Oprah will spend two weeks on the stand, defending statements such as: "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." Winfrey "cleaned house" by firing staff members who she determined had became part of the problem.
Oprah's Leadership Academy now has more than 300 students. Perhaps following in her footsteps, Madonna recently broke ground on a girls' school in Malawi, and Angelina Jolie is funding a girls' school in Afghanistan. Hopefully all the students will be treated with the respect that all these high-profile role models would agree is mandatory in order to educate the future women of the world.
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