"JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – U.S. talk show host Oprah Winfrey said Monday she was devastated by allegations an employee had abused students at a school she started for disadvantaged South African girls, and promised a shakeup.
Winfrey spoke to reporters in South Africa by satellite hook-up hours after the employee, a dormitory matron accused of indecent assault and criminal injury, appeared in court near Johannesburg and was granted bail.
Winfrey said the contract of the school's head mistress would not be renewed and promised "to clean house from top to bottom."
She also indicated school officials had tried to keep the facts of the case from her, saying she had initially been told a girl who accused the matron of abuse had left the school because the girl's mother wanted to spend more time with her.
Girls at the school, at which Winfrey has been a frequent visitor, also told her they had been told to "put on happy faces" when she was there and not complain, Winfrey said.
Though she said she was not responsible for hiring at the school, Winfrey said the screening process was inadequate and "the buck always stops with me..."Do you think Oprah is accountable for the alleged abuse at her academy?
If you were a parent of a girl at the school do you think you'd still send your daughter there in light of Oprah's commitment to change?