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Oprah's Dad Wishes He Had Beaten Her More

Shock Confession: Oprah's Dad Wishes He Had Beaten Her More

EMBARGOED until 4.00pm Saturday May 19 2007

Days after the controversial passing of New Zealand's anti-smacking bill, New Idea magazine reveals that talkshow star Oprah Winfrey's father wished he'd beaten her more as a child.

The claims, from Vernon Winfrey's recently completed memoirs, boast of the harsh disciplinary measures he used on his daughter as a result of her unruly behaviour as a child.

While in today's society such views seem outrageous, Oprah herself has credited her father with helping her to get her life back on track and paving the way for the success she now enjoys.

'Children need roots, limits and discipline and I don't mean time in, time out. I mean the rod of correction, swung hard and often,' says Winfrey snr.

These and other sentiments expressed in the New Idea cover story are at odds with Green MP Sue Bradford's plea for non-violent disciplinary alternatives for children.

New Zealand politicians, led by Bradford, overwhelmingly voted 113 to eight in favour of the legislation on Wednesday 16 May. The bill repeals section 59 of the Crimes Act, and serves to outlaw child beating but does not criminalise parents who use "inconsequential force".

Ends

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