In November, Oprah Winfrey's mother, Vernita Lee, and the luxury fashion store Valentina Inc. announced a settlement of the latter's lawsuit over Lee's $155,547 outstanding tab. On a previous tab of $174,285 in 2002, Lee had agreed to make periodic repayments, but the store apparently allowed her to open another account, and as the new balance swelled, Lee sued, claiming the store should not have re-extended credit to her.
In December, pedophile Theodore Sypnier (the first-ever New Yorker to turn 100 years old while behind bars) was released from prison even though he continues to deny that he has done anything wrong. He was sent once again to a halfway house near Walden, N.Y., run by Rev. Terry King, who took Sypnier in twice before and warns that Sypnier is still highly dangerous. "As a father," said King, "I would not want my child anywhere near him." Noting that Sypnier continues to reject counseling, King said, "He's been adamant that, 'I'm 100, and I'm not gonna change.'"