Oprah Winfrey’s private girls’ school in South Africa has been hit by a second lesbian sex scandal.
Seven girls from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls have been suspended for displaying ‘inappropriate behaviour’ towards other pupils.
One 15-year-old pupil is said to have forced other girls to engage in lesbian activities with each other, and coerced them into lying to investigating officials.
The Afrikaans on Sunday newspaper printed a letter sent home to one of the girls, which read, ‘You have been found guilty of physical contact of a sexual nature with another pupil on campus, harassment, bullying other girls on campus and of being dishonest by not telling investigators the whole truth.’
The pupil has denied the allegations.
In a statement, Oprah says the scandal only hit the headlines because of her celebrity connection.
'I'm disappointed that several of our students chose to disregard the school's rules. It's disheartening when any student has to be suspended or expelled...
'Indiscretions resulting in disciplinary action are common in schools all over the world. Unfortunately, because of my name these common infractions place the Academy in the media spotlight,' she said.
It is the second lesbian sex scandal to hit the academy at Henley-on-Clip near Johannesburg in 18 months.
Ten months after the elite school opened in January 2007, matron Virgina Tiny Makgobo was accused of sexual abuse by 15 pupils.
She has denied the charges, including indecent assault and assaulting a minor to perform an indecent act.
Makgobo is due back in court on June 1.
When the allegations of abuse were revealed, Oprah – herself a victim of abuse – said she was ‘devastated’ and promised to overhaul the way the academy was run.
The chat show queen has spent around £30million of her own money on setting up the school.