Oprah Winfrey has settled her defamation lawsuit, narrowly avoided a court appearance.
Harpo productions released statement yesterday announcing an eleventh-hour settlement in the case brought against O by Lerato Nomvuyo Mzamane, the former head mistress of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.
"The two parties met woman to woman without their lawyers and are happy that they could resolve this dispute peacefully to their mutual satisfaction,” the statement read. “We are pleased both parties have reached a conclusion."
Lerato pressed charges against Oprah for defamation of character back in 2008. The suit stems from a 2007 scandal at the school where a teacher was accused of sexually abusing six students.
The suit stated that Oprah made charges against her, claiming that the educator tried to cover up the incidents. Last week a judge denied O’s request to have the case thrown out of court, and the trial would have begun next week.
Details of the settlement have not been released, but both ladies have cleared each other. According to the statement, “Ms. Winfrey testified in her deposition that she did not intend the implications placed on her words by the plaintiff. Ms. Mzamane testified in her deposition that she has no evidence that Ms. Winfrey knowingly made a false statement about her or entertained serious doubt about the truth of what she said.”
— Sonya Eskridge