Oprah Settles Defamation Suit

Mar. 23 2010, Published 10:49 a.m. ET

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Oprah Winfrey did what she does best. She mediated a dispute-but this time it involved her. Oprah has settled a defamation lawsuit filed against her and didn't even need her lawyers to do it, has learned.

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Entertainment Tonight is reporting that Oprah settled a suit against her by the former headmistress of her Leadership Academy in South Africa.

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The lawyers for both Oprah and Lerato Nomyuyo Mzamane told ET, "The two parties met woman to woman without their lawyers and are happy that they could resolve this dispute peacefully to their mutual satisfaction." In Oprah's deposition she said "she did not intent the implications placed on her words by the plaintiff." And, Mzamane testified "she has no evidence that Ms. Winfrey knowingly made a false statement about her."

Oprah Winfrey

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In 2007 Winfrey's school in South Africa was at the center of a sex-abuse scandal in which dorm matron, Virginia Makopo, was charged with 13 counts of indecent assault, assault and criminal injury against six girls at the academy.

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During a news conference about the scandal, Winfrey insinuated that Mzamane was not trustworthy and had in some way aided in covering up the abuse.

Mzamane now lives in Kenya and claims that because Winfrey knocked her character, it was almost impossible for her to get work for nearly a year, driving her to hire United States based attorney Timothy McGowan and sue Winfrey.

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Oprah attempted to have the case thrown out, but her request was denied. And the trial was set to begin March 29. However, now both attorneys say they are pleased with the outcome.



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