OPRAH WINFREY has denied reports she’s threatening to shut down her girls school in South Africa following allegations of sexual abuse.
The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls has been rocked by two big scandals since its opening in 2007.
In March (09), a group of pupils were expelled after they were accused of sexually harassing fellow students, and just nine months after its 2007 launch, a dorm matron was charged with assaulting and abusing six young pupils at the school.
The media mogul recently flew out to South Africa to attend an art show held by the academy’s students and is alleged to have used the opportunity to reprimand staff and demand an end to the headline-grabbing incidents – or face permanent closure.
A source tells the National Enquirer, "Oprah was choking back tears but she was plenty angry. She read them the riot act and basically said she would consider closing the school if she hears of any more incidents. It was a rather blunt warning – no more scandals or else!"
But Winfrey’s publicist has dismissed the allegations – and the media mogul insists she’s dedicated to helping the girls affected by the abuse claims and keeping the underprivileged kids in school.
She says, "It’s very traumatic for the girls who were involved (in the 2007 case). To continuously read about the court case in the newspapers… But the girls have now testified and we’ve managed, through counseling and group sessions, to work through this traumatic experience."
Tiny Virginia Makopo, a former dorm matron, faces 14 charges including common assault, harassment, soliciting a minor to perform indecent acts and verbal abuse.
She has pleaded not guilty to the counts and is currently on trial.
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