Oprah Winfrey, Ex-School Head Settle Defamation Suit

Oprah Winfrey will no longer testify in court for the trial of a defamation case filed by the former headmistress of the billionaire’s girls school in South Africa. Lawyers for both Winfrey and former school head Nomvuyo Mzamane said in a statement that the two parties have reached an agreement in an out-of-court settlement.

Lawyers said Winfrey and Mzamane personally talked and agreed to amicably settle their differences, which stemmed from a comment made by the American talk show host. In 2007, Winfrey said she had “lost confidence” in Mzamane after reports broke out that several students at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls were abused by their dorm matron, Tiny Virginia Makopo. Mzamane later filed the lawsuit, saying that Winfrey’s comments made it appear that she was negligent of her duties as headmistress of the school. Mzamane also claimed that she had trouble finding another job because her reputation was sullied by Winfrey’s comments.

Winfrey and several students at the school were supposed to appear at the trial scheduled for next week. Lawyers did not disclose the terms of the settlement.