Judge: Oprah Must Defend Former Headmistress’s Suit

by | March 16, 2010 at 11:40 AM | TV News

Oprah Winfrey (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Oprah Winfrey (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

By MARYCLAIRE DALE
Associated Press Writer

PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge says Oprah Winfrey must defend a defamation suit filed by the former headmistress of her girls’ school in South Africa.

The case is now set for trial March 29 in Philadelphia.

Judge Eduardo Robreno refused to dismiss the suit in a decision Monday.

He says former headmistress Nomvuyo Mzamane has enough evidence to pursue claims Winfrey defamed her. Winfrey made the remarks in 2007 after sex-abuse complaints surfaced at her school for poor girls near Johannesburg.

A dorm matron who worked under Mzamane was charged with abusing students.

Winfrey’s lawyer, William Hangley, declined comment Tuesday on the decision.

Mzamane’s lawyer did not immediately return a call for comment.

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