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Oprah Faces Press in School Scandal

11/5/2007 10:37 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Oprah Winfrey just told the press that the recent abuse charges at her South Africa school has been "one of the most devastating, if not the most devastating experience, of my life."


The talk show queen just gave a live press conference, apologizing for the alleged sexual abuse at The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, but O remained positive by saying, "No one can destroy the dream I have held, and each girl continues to hold, at the school."

A dorm matron at the Academy was suspended on October 17 and was later arrested on assault, indecent assault and soliciting under-age girls to perform indecent acts. The matron, Virginia Mokgobo, was released today on bail.

95 COMMENTS

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16.

Kelli    

Oprah knew that Africa had the worst sexual abuse rate in the world. Maybe thats why she opened the school. She will make sure the girls are safe. It is terrible, no doubt. She will make it right for the school. Go O!

2355 days ago
17.

millie    

Of course, she's saying "her" dream.

If you build a house for someone for a disadvantaged person and the house falls apart, of course you're going to refer "to when I built the house..."

Oprah does talk about her self a lot, but how could she not do that when she is being held accountable for what happened.

2355 days ago
18.

hora    

im not an oprah fan but i think she truly wants to help people. this is a tragedy for everyone involved.

2355 days ago
19.

Monroe    

I wish she's stop apologizing. This really isn't her fault. I mean you've got teachers in he US abusing kids, you've got priests molesting kids, etc. You don't see school administrators,churches, teachers apologizing. They could care less.

Besides I have to agree with the following posts. S. Africa is dangerous as hell. It's been described as the rape capitol of the world. The abuse, lack of opportunity, and extreme poverty these girls were receiving in their own homes pales in comparison to this.

2355 days ago
20.

Bee    

#6: Allison: (and any other negative comments here) - do you honestly think Oprah WInfrey would use the issue of child abuse as some way of scoring points to make herself look better? I deliberately viewed these comments because I knew that even with this sort of story, there would be still be morons on here giving Oprah stick for this.

Oprah Winfrey was abused herself, lest we forget, and was pregnant at 14 by a family member.

This is not her fault - she has spent millions on trying to help those less well-off than herself (compared to vacuous idiots like Britney Spears who gives a mere $500 dollars per month to HER OWN charity, and yet spends $100,000 per month on enjoying herself).

Man you guys, come on!! Grow a heart! The only person to blame here is the hideous woman who carried out these heinous acts.

2355 days ago
21.

monique    

This is a disgrace. What a vile betrayal of the children. The "matron" had to know about Oprah's history of abuse and that her actions would likely impact the girls for the rest of their lives. I hope they lock her up and she one day wishes she had never been born.
There are certain things you just don't do.

2355 days ago
22.

Cheese925    

Hey Robert. If she was as selfish as you want people to believe...why would she have spent her own money and opened the school in the first place? The wrong people get hired for jobs and do messed up things. Same case here. So you're going to blame Oprah for something that was done over there while she's a million miles away? You give us all a break!!

2355 days ago
23.

monique    

In addition, this isn't just about the abuse. It is part of a mindset that basically says "Who do you think you are? You may be in this fancy place, but you're still just a girl and you're not better than anyone else." It is the crabs in the barrel mentality at it's worst. If most people in the surrounding areas will spend their lives in poverty, what gives these girls the right to think that they are "special." That can come from the males or, sadly, even one of their own.

2355 days ago
24.

Barbara    

Just another thought. The Grand Opening of that school were all her black friends in show business. Chris Rock's comments, I did not appreciate. I would assume that everyone employed there is black as well. It is interesting......people who constantly scream racism are often the biggest racists. I assume the "offender" was not white. Did she think that having an all black world is some sort of safety area??Evil exists in every color. It will be interesting to see what unfolds from all this.....what she has to say......I never watch her show....you don't need to......every word is presented as gospel on news shows where celebrities have somehow become "news" and she has become the person that "too many Americans follow....read the books she recommends, repeat what she says......Stay tuned, America.....I'm sure it will be more therapy for "Lady O"

2355 days ago
25.

lizouttavegas    

I cant believe you guys are SO HARSH! If Oprah had been around in
the 70's I'd have done things much differently..! No one explained
adulthood or decision making or any other damn thing...at least she
has tried, for years, to help people!!
and this latest fiasco, is proof that NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED!!
So sorry Oprah.....slow down...you cant save everybody!!
your fans are still out here...

2355 days ago
26.

Kim    

I am so sick of people being "coerced" by the media to apologize for things they didn't do. Unless Oprah hand-picked that woman and helped her abuse girls, she has nothing to apologize for. She can express regret, but STOP apologizing. You did not commit the crime!

2355 days ago
27.

Youallaresuchhaters    

Barbara....you are so stupid and it shows. If you watched TV more than blacks went to the opening....Diane Sawyer was ther, Barbara Walters, Matt Lauer...and so on. Give me a break. I am white and as I read posts on TMZ I see why blacks feel like they do......I would "whine" about racism all the time if I were treated like that too....get over yourself and your bigotry!!!!

2355 days ago
28.

Sillyme    

Oprah is a BAD foster mom. She set them up the bomb by too strictly structure work-horse child-slavery rules and separating them from the loving interests of their parents, and abandoned them too. Sounds like a heartless liberal socialist way of raising a child to me.

2355 days ago
29.

calling it like i see it    

I am sick of the attacks on Oprah. She is a true hero and should be to every woman and child in this country. She has millions of dollars and she has done so much good with money. She has never forgotten were she came from, nor the life she has led to get her to this point in her life. Bad things happen, whether you like it or not, it's just simply a fact of life. She had no control over another persons actions, but yet, she still holds herself responsible. I applaud Oprah everyday for making the world a better place and doing her part to help those who need a little hope in their lives. I for one wish she'd run for President, we need more people like her in the world. I just wish every child knew her story, then maybe, just maybe they would think that they could do what she has done. Stop hating her because she's rich, she earned every single penny of that money and I am certainly glad she uses it for the good of her fellow men and women instead of using it foolishly and preaching from her show about scientology or some other cult.

2355 days ago
30.

Robert "Bob" White!    

Hey JCC.....for Dope-ra it is all about Dope-ra and her image and nothing more. Me, me, me and I, I I....that's Dope-ra's mantra. It is a shame what happened to those girls.....but all the blame goes to Dope-ra and the system she set up at that school. Hey Dope-ra....give some cars away to the crowd and everything will be ok.

Again....Dope-ra sucks!

2355 days ago
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