Winfrey 'Confident' Of Victory In Big Give Legal Battle
OPRAH WINFREY is "confident" of victory in an ongoing legal battle with a woman who claims she gave the star the idea for her charity TV show OPRAH'S BIG GIVE. Darlene Tracy, from Boston, Massachusetts, filed a lawsuit against the star, insisting she hatched the concept for a programme in which contestants would be challenged to help the needy and offered it to Winfrey's production company in February 2005. The suit claimed Harpo Productions turned down her idea for the show, titled The Philanthropist, but went on to use the format as the basis for Oprah's Big Give which aired for the first time on U.S. TV earlier this month (Mar08). Tracy, who represented herself in the hearing at the U.S. District Court in Boston, saw her claim dismissed by the judge but has since hired a team of lawyers and lodged an appeal against the decision. But a spokesman for Winfrey insists the star and her lawyers are fully confident of victory, telling New York Daily News, "We agree with the judge that (Tracy's) claims against Harpo Productions, Inc. are without merit. (And we are) confident that the Court of Appeals will agree that Tracy has no claim." Winfrey's representatives have also shot down rumours Tracy's legal action has scuppered a planned Big Give book deal. It had been reported the star was in talks with U.S. publishers Simon + Schuster but the deal fell through because of fears the company could be named in Tracy's suit. But representatives for both the publishers and Winfrey denied any plans were underway for a Big Give book.