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Well, that was quick. Just days after a judge ruled that a defamation case against Oprah Winfrey can go to trial, the chat queen has settled the matter.
Terms weren’t disclosed, but the plaintiff had a nice bit of leverage in her favor considering a trial was set to begin next week in Philadelphia.
Larato Mzamane, former headmistress of Winfrey’s South Africa-based Leadership Academy of Girls, sued Winfrey over remarks she made while suspending the woman amid abuse complaints in 2007. At the time, Winfrey released a public statement saying that “(n)othing is more serious or devastating to me than an allegation of misconduct by an adult against any girl at the academy. I will do everything in my power to ensure their safety and well-being.”
The woman sued for defamation and Oprah tried to have the claims dismissed on summary judgment, an effort that was denied last week by a district court judge.
Now, according to a joint statement, the two women “reached a conclusion” in a meeting without their lawyers.
From the AP, here’s Harpo’s full statement:
“The two parties met woman to woman without their lawyers and are happy that they could resolve this dispute peacefully to their mutual satisfaction. 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. We are pleased both parties have reached a conclusion.”
Oprah and her Harpo Inc. were repped by Charles L. “Chip” Babcock and Nancy W. Hamilton. Mzamane was repped by Timothy McGowan and Matthew Reber.
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