Media magnate Winfrey to face defamation trial

18:53, March 17, 2010      

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Oprah Winfrey takes the stage to introduce the hosts of the 60th annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles in this September 21, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Did talk show host and media magnate Oprah Winfrey defame her school ex-headmistress Larato Mzamane in 2007? The answer may soon be disclosed.

Oprah Winfrey is expected to defend herself at March 29 trial in a defamation case, as media reported on Tuesday.

A federal judge this week refused to dismiss the suit filed by Winfrey's ex-headmistress Mzamane. Mzamane sued for defamation, false light and infliction of emotional distress.

Winfrey opened the school of Leadership Academy for Girls for impoverished girls in South Africa in January 2007 and Mzamane was recruited as the headmistress.

In 2007, a group of students at Winfrey's school accused dorm parents of sexual abuse. Winfrey was at the school and met with Mzamane, who was soon put on administrative leave pending an investigation.

At the time, Winfrey released a public statement saying that "nothing is more serious or devastating to me than an allegation of misconduct by an adult against any girl at the academy. I will do everything in my power to ensure their safety and well-being."

After the abuse complaints surfaced, Winfrey said she had "lost confidence" in headmistress Mzamane and was "cleaning house from top to bottom."

Source: Xinhuanet
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