Celebrities without makeup

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Staff at Oprah Winfrey's Academy Accused of Sexual, Physical Abuse

Oprah Winfrey has been left devastated by allegations students at her Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa have been sexually and physically abused by staff. The US chat show host, who opened school for the gifted near Johannesburg in January, broke down in tears at a meeting with the students' parents and begged for forgiveness.

"I've disappointed you. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry," Oprah said.The 53-year-old TV star cancelled some appointments after allegations emerged that one of the matrons fondled a girl and that other pupils had been physically abused. One student claimed a matron grabbed her by the throat and threw her against a wall, while other girls have said the "dorm parent" swore and screamed at them, assaulted them and sexually fondled at least one girl. The alleged incidents came to light when one of the pupils ran away from the academy.

Oprah, who has spoken openly about being abused as a child, has given the girls her personal phone number, email address and postal address so they can contact her at any time. South African police and the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit are still investigating the case.

Staff at Oprah Winfrey's Academy Accused of Sexual, Physical Abuse


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