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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.


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if her rules about the girls not communicating with their parents except for once a month were not so rigid - perhaps these girls could have spoken up earlier. She runs that school like a prison - no phone calls no emails to parents; no junk food.
She started out with 154 girls - will be interesting to see how many are still there at the end of the semester. About 1 dozen has already dropped out as she will not permit them to se Afrikkaner

2511 days ago


Isn't America great? We can all say what we think, even if some people have to resort to name callling because they don't agree with what you say. Don't forget to vote tomorrow. Keep our Democracy strong.

2511 days ago


wonder is she will replace the girls dropping out after this nightmare with 'white' poor girls? and, there will be more drop outs; have to meet with the attorney; gie sworn depositions - the whole nine yards any bets?

2511 days ago


Why do you think child molesters get away with it so long? Because the rest of us can't believe someone we know would do that sort of thing. My god son told his mother about pawpaw's games, and she immediatly went to the authorities.
Because he wouldn't talk about it to a stranger, it was unproven, and nothing was done. So, she made a tape of him talking to her. It can't be used. Her mom still refuses to believe it happened, even though she admitted he had fondled a neice several years back. America is no better than anywhere else, we just hide it more.

2511 days ago


Barb, ur still a moron. I have never in the few times I have seen your comments have you had a nice thing to say about any celebrity. Menapause? Need a man? Good luck. Try and find hapiness wherever you can. Peace People.

2511 days ago


I can't believe the comments from you people. Oprah has been nothing short of an angel sent. She has been a contributor to a better place to exist with her wisdom and expert guest panels. To see Oprah integrity questioned by people, who probably never did anything for anyone in their lives, sickens me. Oprah is a true American success story, and she has never been short of appreciation for her prosperity. This woman has said that she get on her knees and pray to GOD everyday. Thank you.

2511 days ago


People are barbaric and disgusting towards innocent children. This makes me sick.

2511 days ago


Oprah made a big deal on her show about how she picked out each and every bed spread, piece of art, and gigantic photo of her face to adorn each room in the school. Perhaps if she'd spent half that time screening the staff she wouldn't have hired child molesters. Oh, but wait, that would have been time taken away from posting a big, round photo of herself on everything she touches from her bookclub stamp ("I wont endorse a book unless I can literally paste a photo of myself on it!") to the walls at her school. Barf.

2511 days ago


This was not something that was within Oprah's control but I do wonder about the rumors that parents are allowed very limited visitation. If that's true it needs to change. Who are the girls to report abuse to if they're cut off from their families?

2511 days ago


#7 OCD: Newsflash: The girls' parents don't love/care for them them any less than other parents simply for the fact that they're poor. Nice bigotry there.

2511 days ago

He's Boring now    

I thought she said her most devastating experience of her life was when she and her Entourage were denied access to that speciality purse store in Paris last year. Than it was discovered it was not the blatant racism she claimed, but rather the store had already scheduled a special session with other customers---and Big O and her Best Friend Gail were told, sorry closed.

South Africa is a very dangerous place since Apartheid was lifted. Not that Apartheid was right, but people sure didnt die and get raped and robbed at the rates they do now. Go figure.

Too bad Oprah said she would have done a school in the US but all the kids want here are ipods and sneakers, not education.

She should take residence at the School for one year. This throwing money at a problem and flying off isnt working.

2511 days ago


Go Gail!

2511 days ago


Hey stupid Oprah.You hand picked all these degenerates for your crappy school.You made such a big deal about your charity.Now look your getting bad press and give them cell phones.hey Ope I hear the girls were locked up for thier protection.uhhuh..your dumbass should be sued because you had incompetent people running your jail..Help some Americans you witch.

2511 days ago


Maybe Oprah will have more compassion for the Roman Catholic Church. Just because there are a few bad apples does not mean the entire institution should be shut down. Don't give up what you believe in Oprah! Learn from this awful experience, do what you can to prevent it from happening ever again and then move on and keep making the world a better place!

2511 days ago


I doubt that Oprah suspected that one of the women she hired would try to molest any of the girls. It is an academy for young women, and the one who did the molesting was a woman. Oprah probably thought the girls were safe in the care of other women. Oprah is not responsible for every evil thought that enters another person's mind.

I hope she doesn't get sued, or I will smell a rat. If the parents don't show anymore support for the school and complain about security measures and wanting them to have junk food, I would close the school down and come home.

All these evangelists are over in Africa lining children up in the hot sun to give them a plastic bowl of some white mush, where they sometimes eat with their hands. They raise MILLIONS of dollars doing that - for themselves.. Oprah was GIVING millions, yet she gets the criticism. Go figure.

2511 days ago
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