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Vernita Lee, Oprah Winfrey's Mom, Sued Over Unpaid $156K Store Bill

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MILWAUKEE — A high-end clothing store in Brookfield, Wisconsin, is suing Oprah Winfrey's mother for failing to pay her bill.

The civil complaint says Vernita Lee of Milwaukee owed Valentina nearly $156,000 for purchases and interest as of July 1st and has failed to make the monthly minimum payment of $2,000.

Store attorney Joseph Niebler Sr. says his client tried to resolve the matter with Lee before filing the lawsuit in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit says Lee told store officials she doesn't think she owes the money. Reached by telephone, Lee declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Valentina co-owner Tony Chirchirillo says a $150,000 bill isn't unusual for a client with a full calendar of social events.

A nonbinding mediation session is set for September 16th.


Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,