Oprah's Mom Sues Store Over Huge Credit Account

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Oprah Winfrey's mother says she shouldn't have to pay a nearly $156,000 debt to a high-end fashion store because store officials shouldn't have extended credit to her.

Valentina Inc. alleges that Vernita Lee of Milwaukee racked up $155,547 in purchases and interest as of July 1. The company sued, saying Lee fell behind in minimum monthly payments of $2,000.

Lee filed a counterclaim Friday contending that Valentina took advantage of her "lack of knowledge, ability, and-or capacity" when creating her credit account.

Court papers say Lee resolved a 2002 case with the company over a $175,000 bill. The resolution prohibited Valentina from extending further credit to her.

A message left for Valentina co-owner Tony Chirchirillo was not returned Tuesday


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