WAUKESHA , Wis., Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Oprah Winfrey's mother has filed a countersuit against a Wisconsin clothing boutique claiming if it hadn't extended her credit she wouldn't owe it $150,000.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Winfrey's 73-year-old mother, Vernita Lee, argued in court papers that she shouldn't have to pay the bill for purchases and interest Valentina Inc., said she owed because the store allowed her an open-ended charge account even though it was aware she has trouble managing debt.
Her filing described the account as "unconscionable, and therefore, unenforceable because Valentina knowingly and unfairly took advantage of Lee's lack of knowledge, ability, and/or capacity when Valentina created the account."
In a separate incident dating to 2002, Lee was ordered by the court to pay Valentina a lump sum of $35,000, then make monthly payments of $5,000 until another past-due bill of $174,285 was paid. Lee eventually paid off that bill.
A court order dismissing that case included the phrase, "Valentina Boutique, Inc., shall not at any time extend further store credit to the Defendant, Vernita Lee," the Journal-Sentinel said.
However, Lee's new court filing claimed she has had an open-ended charge account with Valentina since January 2004. It is through that account that she has allegedly racked up the most recent charges, the newspaper said.