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Barbara Winfrey, ex-wife of Oprah Winfrey's father Vernon Winfrey, wants to stay in this suburban Nashville home owned by Oprah. / Shelley Mays, The (Nashville) Tennessean

FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- A Williamson County judge could decide Monday whether to evict the former stepmother of TV star Oprah Winfrey from a $1.4 million home in suburban Nashville.

Barbara Winfrey, who was divorced last year from Oprah Winfrey's father and barbershop owner Vernon Winfrey, will face General Sessions Court Judge Ernie Williams at 9 a.m. hearing next week.

The Monday hearing could close a sordid legal drama for the Winfrey family.

In happier times, Oprah Winfrey bought the Laurelbrooke home for Vernon and Barbara Winfrey after they married in 2001. The house, and an adjacent vacant lot, were still kept in the name of the limited liability company Overground Railroad, started by Oprah Winfrey.

But the couple's relationship fell apart in 2012. Vernon Winfrey filed for divorce from Barbara Winfrey on grounds of inappropriate marital conduct. She then claimed that Vernon was violent and abusive to her. In November 2013, a Williamson County judge sided with Barbara Winfrey in the divorce.

Even though Oprah Winfrey offered to give her former stepmother another house, the retired guidance counselor has refused to move.

"I've been here 13 and a half years," said Barbara Winfrey, 66.

She said financial problems have left her with bad credit, and she is unable to buy a house, spurning the offer of help from Oprah Winfrey because she didn't want to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Records show Vernon and Barbara Winfrey lost ownership in 2012 of a Nashville development that included his new barbershop, along with property Vernon Winfrey owned and a house Barbara Winfrey owned on Chateau Valley Lane.

Oprah Winfrey's Phoenix Trust II paid $475,100 to buy the three properties in 2012 after they had fallen into foreclosure.

As part of the divorce proceedings, Oprah Winfrey's spokeswoman said Barbara Winfrey was offered the home on Chateau Valley Lane in Nashville "free and clear" to live with her family and she chose not to accept it.

Barbara Winfrey said the sticking point of the Chateau Valley deal included signing a confidentiality agreement about Oprah Winfrey.

"I'm not going to sign anything," she said.

"The next offer was to sell the (Laurelbrooke) residence and split the proceeds equally, which (Barbara Winfrey) also turned down," said Oprah Winfrey's spokeswoman. "After several requests to voluntarily vacate the property at Willowbrooke Circle, the appropriate paperwork has been filed to have her vacate the property."

Barbara Winfrey claims she has never been offered money from the sale of the Laurelbrooke property. But she said she would take that offer now.

"I'm not trying to stay here (just) to stay here,'' Barbara Winfrey said. " ... Where am I going to go at 66 to find someplace to live? Who's going to rent to me?"

And, Barbara Winfrey said she doesn't want any money from Oprah Winfrey.

"It's not money. It's never been about money," Barbara Winfrey said. "If it had been about money, I would have taken it and run a long time ago."



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Oprah Winfrey, stepmom eviction hearing set for Monday

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