Monday, October 29, 2007

Oprah pulls an Ellen!

Oprah Winfrey broke down in tears to parents of her $40 million girls' school in South Africa Sunday, apologizing for the recent alleged allegations of physical and sexual abuse there.
"I've disappointed you. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry," Winfrey, 53, said in the emergency meeting at the school in Henley-on-Klip, south of Johannesburg, according to the nation's new site
A father of one of the students comforted the talk show host, telling her, “It’s not your fault. We don’t blame you.”
Last week, it was reported Winfrey — who was abused as a child — had flown to the school twice in less than ten days (canceling an October 12 appearance honoring pal Julia Roberts in Beverly Hills) following alleged allegations of physical and sexual abuse.
A matron was accused of fondling at least one girl; one student also claimed the same instructor grabbed her by the throat and threw her against a wall, according to reports. Other students alleged the matron cursed and screamed at them.
The allegations came to light after one student reportedly ran away because the abuse had become so bad.
At Sunday’s meeting, Winfrey handed out her phone number and email and mailing addresses, assuring parents she could be reached at all times, according to the report.
The principal and at least one other matron were put on leave about two weeks ago.
Winfrey has also hired her own investigators, in addition to the South African police and the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses Unit who are on the case.
"It is all in the hands of the investigators," a school spokesperson told the Sunday Times of Africa October 23. "They will have to determine if criminal charges will follow.”

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