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Tearful Oprah says 'sorry' for sexual abuse at South African academy

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Washington (ANI): Oprah Winfrey had tears in her eyes as she asked parents to forgive her for the alleged sexual abuse at her all-girls academy. The talk show queen begged for forgiveness in an emergency meeting at the South African school in Henley-on-Klip, south of Johannesburg on Oct 28. "I've disappointed you. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry," the New York Daily News quoted her, as telling the parents.

Oprah has cancelled all her appointments and jetted to South Africa twice in the past few weeks after claims that one of the matrons sexually fondled a girl and that other pupils had been physically abused.

According to one student, a matron grabbed her by the throat and threw her against a wall. Other girls have accused the "dorm parent" of swearing and screaming at them, assaulting them and sexually fondling at least one girl. The alleged incidents surfaced when one of the pupils fled from the school because she couldn"t tolerate the abuse anymore.

Oprah, who has spoken openly about being abused as a child, gave the girls her personal telephone number, her e-mail address and her postal address so that they could contact her without any difficulty. South African police and the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit are now investigating the case.

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