Oprah’s decision was in response to bloggers like WandaPhullWorld who blasted Oprah:
Winfrey invited gospel singer BeBe Winans on her show to promote his new reunion project with sister CeCe Winans. The 47-year-old Grammy Award winner also appeared on Winfrey’s show Oct. 30 as a judge for her new ‘American Idol’-styled karaoke challenge. Maybe she forgot he’s facing domestic violence charges for a February incident in which he allegedly shoved his ex-wife, Debra Winans, to the ground in front of their kids.
I was shocked by Ms. Wanda’s post because this story had slipped by my radar screen. My hunch is that Oprah’s producers missed it too. The alleged domestic violence incident happened the day I was launching this web site and several days after the infamous domestic violence assault on Rihanna by Chris Brown.
Oprah understands incest because she’s a survivor. But, she struggles with domestic violence. After Rihanna’s experience, Oprah proclaimed:
Domestic violence is something that I won’t tolerate. Period.
In August, her magazine published an extensive investigative journalism piece on Vernetta Cockerham’s story. My sense is that perhaps the Precious partnership between Tyler Perry and Oprah might be having an enlightening influence on Oprah.
Yet, on October 23, BeBe Winans and his sister CeCe were on Oprah’s show to sing “Grace” and to promote their new album Still. Oprah announced he’d be a judge on her Karaoke Challenge and started the blogger dust-up over BeBe Winans’ arrest for domestic violence.
Debra Winans Speaks Out: In Matters of Abuse, Silence Can Be a Killer
CNN reported that on Febuary 13, there was an argument on the driveway of Ms. Winans’ home in Nashville over the custody of their children. The couple are parents of a 13-year-old daughter and 10 year-old son. They were married for 16 years before divorcing in 2003.
Ms. Winans’ experience was recorded by Nashville television station WSMV:
He pushed me to the ground in front of my children.
When you’re married to someone known all over the world, it has serious challenges.
The reporter summarized Ms. Winans’ thoughts:
People of faith are held to an even higher standard, and many Christians suffer through abuse rather than reaching out for help.
She is working with other survivors of abuse to help them find “healthy solutions.”
Mr. Winans is scheduled to appear in court on January 20, 2010.