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Settlement reached in Oprah defamation suit

Oprah Winfrey, addresses graduates as the Stanford University Commencement speaker in June 2008. (Ron Lewis)

March 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Attorneys for Oprah Winfrey announced Tuesday a settlement had been reached in a defamation lawsuit brought against her by the former headmistress of a South African all-girls school owned by Winfrey.Nomvuyo Mzamane sued Winfrey for what she alleged as "derogatory" remarks against the school following a 2007 sex-abuse scandal at the school.

The lawsuit was filed in Philadelphia. A trial had been set to start next week.

The headmistress claimed Winfrey's remarks caused her problems when attempting to find work after her employment at the school.

Winfrey's production company Harpo Productions released a statement Tuesday:

"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."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.