March 17, 2010

Defamation suit against Oprah Winfrey set for trial

Posted: 07:58 AM ET

A jury will decide whether Oprah Winfrey defamed the former headmistress of her South African girls school when talking about an abuse scandal in 2007, a federal judge ruled.

A trial is set to begin on March 29 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the defamation lawsuit filed by Lerato Nomvuyo Mzamane against the talk show host and her production company, Harpo.

"Oprah and Harpo await the opportunity to present the case in court," Winfrey's lawyer, Chip Babcock, said Tuesday.

Mzamane was immediately suspended and later fired after several students at Winfrey's South African leadership academy complained about abuse. A dorm mother was later charged with abusing and assaulting students.

The lawsuit contends that Winfrey's statements at a private meeting with parents - which later became public - and at a news conference defamed the headmistress by implying she knew of the abuse and covered it up.

Mzamane claims the abuse complaints were never brought to her and that Winfrey never let her explain.

"Instead Winfrey elected to forego the option of questioning Plaintiff directly as to her knowledge of the abusive conduct and published statements which arguably created the impression that Plaintiff did in fact have some level of involvement in the Dorm Parents misconduct," the suit said.

(read more)

Filed under: Oprah Winfrey

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February 8, 2010

Oprah, Leno, Letterman in one ad? Here's how

Posted: 01:39 PM ET

By Bill Carter via New York Times


Jay and Dave together? Could it be true?

It is, and there they were, Jay Leno and David Letterman sitting on a couch – with Oprah Winfrey between them — upstairs at the Ed Sullivan Theater, where Mr. Letterman tapes his show.

The spot was shot last Tuesday afternoon, under the strictest of secrecy which involved both Mr. Leno and Ms. Winfrey flying in surreptitiously to New York, and arriving incognito at the theater, while Mr. Letterman was in the midst of taping his show for that night.

It also involved Jay wearing a disguise: hooded sweatshirt, glasses and faux mustache. If you happened to be on Broadway between 53rd and 54th street last Tuesday about 4:15, you might have seen a man fitting that description slip into the theater by a small entrance under the marquee.

According to staff members of the “Late Show with David Letterman” who were on the scene that day — including the executive producer, Rob Burnett – it all happened because Mr. Letterman had an idea he thought would be truly funny: a Super Bowl ad that featured the two longest-running adversaries in late night, sitting with Ms. Winfrey as though at a Super Bowl party.


Filed under: David Letterman • Oprah Winfrey

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January 22, 2010

Unauthorized Oprah bio coming in April

Posted: 09:24 AM ET

Kitty Kelley, biographer of the rich and famous, is getting ready to release an unauthorized biography on talk show queen Oprah Winfrey.

The 544-page book, "Oprah: A Biography," will be released on April 13, with a first printing of 500,000 copies, according to the Crown Publishing Group.

"We are excited to be publishing the first comprehensive biography of one of the most influential, powerful and admired public figures of our time, by the most widely read biographer of our era," said Tina Constable, a vice president with Crown.

The author spent three years researching for the book and conducted 850 interviews, Crown said.

Kelley's previous books have chronicled the Bush family political dynasty, the British royal family, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Nancy Reagan.

Winfrey's Harpo Productions had little to say about the book.

"Oprah hasn't participated in or read Kitty Kelley's book, so she is unable to comment," said Winfrey spokeswoman Lisa Halliday.

Filed under: Oprah Winfrey

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November 27, 2009

Oprah heading to White House to interview the Obamas

Posted: 12:24 PM ET

Oprah Winfrey will interview President Obama and his wife, Michelle, next month for a 60-minute program to air before Christmas, the talk show host announced Wednesday.

"Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Primetime Special" will air at 10 p.m. ET December 13 on ABC, her Web site said.

"The intimate, informative and entertaining hourlong special will include a one-on-one conversation with the president, marking the first time Oprah has interviewed him since he took office, as well as an exclusive sit-down interview with the first couple," it said.

The special "will showcase behind-the-scenes preparations as the White House gets ready for the holiday season," the Web site said.

(Read More)

Filed under: Oprah Winfrey • President Barack Obama

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November 23, 2009


Posted: 05:38 PM ET

Ann vs. Al

It's a showdown between conservative commentator Ann Coulter and the Rev. Al Sharpton! They'll debate health care reform, the war in Afghanistan, Sarah Palin's viability as a 2012 presidential candidate and much more! Plus, why is Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a lifelong Catholic, barred from taking communion? Ann and Al never hold back - and tonight's no exception!

Murder for Hire Plot?

Michael Dippolito tells Larry how he became the alleged target of a murder for hire plot - devised by his own wife! Dippolito's wife, Dalia, allegedly hired a hit man to kill her husband. Only catch -  the hitman turned out to be an undercover cop. Hear the just-released tapes between Dalia and the police officer - tonight ONLY on Larry King Live!

Oprah's Friends Speak Out

Oprah Winfrey tearfully told her audience that her show will come to an end in 2011 after 25 years of being on the air. Tonight, hear from her best friend Gayle King and Suze Orman, who regularly contributes to The Oprah Winfrey Show. Why did Oprah make the surprise announcement? What's next for the Queen of Talk? And don't miss a very special guest - Oprah's fourth grade teacher, Mary Alice Duncan. Oprah said the years she spent as a student in Mrs. Duncan's class were "defining moments" for her!

That's all tonight on Larry King Live at 9ET/6PT!

And we want to hear from you:

Who do you tend to agree with on political issues - Ann Coulter or Al Sharpton?

Filed under: Ann Coulter • Crime • Oprah Winfrey • Politics is King

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November 20, 2009

Oprah Winfrey ending talk show in 2011

Posted: 08:45 AM ET

Oprah Winfrey will announce on Friday's "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that she will end her talk show, said a spokesman for Winfrey's Harpo Productions.

"Oprah will be ending her talk show," Harpo spokesman Don Halcombe said Thursday. "She will be speaking about it on tomorrow's live show."  The show will air live from its Chicago, Illinois, studio at 9 a.m. CT (10 a.m. ET), he said.

The show will end on September 9, 2011, as its 25th season draws to a close, according to a letter from Harpo Inc. that President Tim Bennett addressed to partners and obtained by CNN affiliate WLS-TV.

"Tomorrow, Oprah will announce live on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that she has decided to end what is arguably one of the most popular, influential and enduring programs in television history," Bennett wrote.

(Read More)

Filed under: Oprah Winfrey

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November 17, 2009

Palin on Oprah: Lisa Watches So You Don't Have To

Posted: 12:23 PM ET

By Lisa de Moraes

Sarah Palin kicks off the TV leg of her campaign to sell copies of "Going Rogue: An American Life" this afternoon on Oprah's syndicated talk show - which, in one of those happy coincidences, is happening at the exact same time Oprah is deeply mired in a campaign to revive that same show's ratings. We're live-blogging at 4 o'clock.

4:00: Oprah Gets Rolling:
"You've been waiting and I've been waiting," Oprah says. Palin comes out and Oprah "woo-hoo's" her. They hug. Palin finger waves.

4:02: It took Oprah under 2 minutes to make it all about her:

"You know there were reports last year that I had snubbed you during the election by not having you on my show. Did you feel snubbed?" she asked and yes it was her very first question.

Palin says no, apologetically, she was really busy what with this and that.

"Really?" Oprah asks incredulously. "So at the time of the campaign when everybody was saying that I was snubbing you, you didn't even know about it?"

This is already the best Oprah interview ever.

"It didn't register. No offense to you - but it wasn't the center of my universe, okay?" Palin says.


Filed under: Oprah Winfrey

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October 13, 2009

TONIGHT: Craig Ferguson!

Posted: 11:47 AM ET

56237712Late night funny man Craig Ferguson talks to Larry about his fight to overcome alcohol addiction, how he got into the business of being funny, and all the buzz surrounding his boss David Letterman.

PLUS – In the first public comments made by a parent of the Columbine killers, Susan Klebold writes in O Magazine that she had no idea her son, Dylan, was suicidal. O Magazine Editor-at-Large Gayle King joins Larry to talk about Susan Klebold's message.

That's all tonight at 9ET/6PT.

And we want to hear from you:

What do you want to know about Craig Ferguson?

Filed under: David Letterman • Larry King Live • Oprah Winfrey

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September 11, 2009

Whitney Houston opens up to Oprah – a preview

Posted: 04:40 PM ET
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August 27, 2009

Obama Is The New Oprah (At Least in Book Sales)

Posted: 11:46 AM ET

By Patrick Gavin via Politico

art_oprah_obama_cnnPresident Barack Obama may not be doing a great job selling Americans on health care reform. But that doesn't mean he's lost the ability to move people to action.

Exhibit A: The president's summer reading list.

When Obama headed to Martha's Vineyard over the weekend, the White House announced that he was hoping to make it through five books during his stay: 

George Pelecanos's "The Way Home," Richard Price's "The Lush Life," Tom Friedman's "Hot, Flat and Crowded," David McCullough's "John Adams" and Kent Haruf's "Plainsong."

With Obama's reappointment of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and the passing of Ted Kennedy, Obama may not actually make as big of a dent in those tomes as he'd like (to say nothing of the fact that, at a collective 2,300 pages, Obama would have to pour through 300 pages a day while on vacation). But Americans may pick up the slack for him: Ever since news of Obama's reading picks went public, sales of the books have skyrocketed on


Filed under: Obama • Oprah Winfrey

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