Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Sex Scandal Rocks Oprah's School

(March 31) -- For the second time in just as many years, a sex scandal has erupted at Oprah Winfrey's South African school for girls, though the details still remain a bit elusive.

According to The Times of South Africa, seven young female students have been expelled from the talk-show host's institution for sexual misconduct. Rapport newspaper, another South African publication, details the incident further, saying that the girls tried to force fellow students (it's an all-girls school) into sexual relationships with each other and also tried to touch them "intimately."

Speaking to the mother and grandmother of two expelled girls, The Times reports that they had received a letter from the school claiming their kids "have been found guilty of physical contact of a sexual nature with another pupil on campus ... bullying other girls and ... not telling investigators the whole truth."

Lisa Halliday, Winfrey's South Africa spokeswoman, responded to the situation on Monday, saying: "We consider this to be a confidential school matter."

This is the second major incident at Winfrey's school. In 2007, Tiny Makopo -- the school's matron -- was charged with indecent assault and one charge based on an allegation she fondled a 13-year-old girl. She has since plead not guilty, and the case is still in the works.

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls opened in January of 2007. Winfrey said she opened the school because she "wanted to give this opportunity to girls who had a light so bright that not even poverty could dim that light."

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