• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
Oprah Winfrey

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

A former dorm matron accused of sexually abusing students at Oprah Winfrey's South African girls school was cleared of charges, leaving the talk-show host "profoundly disappointed" with the decision.

Winfrey expressed her feelings in a statement today, and also praised the students who testified at the trial of Tiny Virginia Makopo, a former worker at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

"We began this child molestation trial in July 2008. More than two years later, I am profoundly disappointed at the outcome of the trial. I will forever be proud of the nine girls who testified with the courage and conviction to be heard," read the statement in part.

Winfrey had hoped would be "the best school in the world" when she opened the academy in 2007 after investing six years and $40 million in the project.

"I wanted to give this opportunity to girls who had a light so bright that not even poverty could dim that light," Winfrey said at the time, adding that she hoped to "change the face of a nation."

The school's opening was quite an event, with South African president Nelson Mandela present, along with Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey and Sidney Poitier.

Just months after the academy opened, however, Winfrey was forced to take an emergency trip to Henley on Klip, a town near Johannesburg, where the school is located, to deal with the allegations brought against Makopo.

The school had brought in detectives from both the U.S. and South Africa to probe the misconduct allegation.

A spokesperson for the prosecution said the court's decision would not be appealed.