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The daily dish

>Studying perfection...

Singer and sometimes actress Jessica Simpson has paid the price of beauty, and now she's examining people's obsession with looking good.

Simpson made headlines last year when photos of her performing suggested she might have gained a few pounds. That sparked a national debate on TV news channels, talk shows and in print asking if Simpson was, indeed, fat.

The 29-year-old has decided to turn the tables on questions about how she looked. The result is a new show called "Jessica Simpson's The Price of Beauty." The show premiered Monday and will air weekly on VH1.

Simpson travels the globe with two friends to examine people's efforts to measure up to their society's standard of beauty.

The goal is to empower women to accept themselves and ultimately understand that no one, not even celebrities, is perfect.


>Oprah faces suit...

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey must defend a defamation suit over remarks she made about a headmistress at her girls school in South Africa after a sex-abuse scandal erupted there, a U.S. judge ruled.

The case is now set for trial March 29 in Philadelphia.

Judge Eduardo Robreno refused to dismiss the suit in a decision Monday, ruling that former headmistress Nomvuyo Mzamane has enough evidence to pursue her defamation claims against the media mogul. Winfrey made the remarks in 2007 after the complaints surfaced at the $40 million Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, near Johannesburg.

A dorm matron who worked under Mzamane was later charged with abusing six students.

Mzamane accused Winfrey of suggesting she was not trustworthy through comments about the need for new leadership and remarks such as "I thought she cared about the girls of South Africa," according to the October 2008 lawsuit.

Winfrey's lawyers argued the remarks, made at an Oct. 20, 2007 meeting with parents and at a Nov. 5, 2007 press conference, reflected Winfrey's opinions.

But the judge agreed they were potentially defamatory.


>Reid's wife badly hurt...

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says his wife and daughter are recovering at home after a violent highway crash last week.

Landra Reid, the senator's wife of 50 years, suffered a broken neck, back and nose in the crash but was stabilized after surgery. Reid said his wife, who is 69, was home with a neck brace but is getting around the couple's 2,000-square foot house.

Reid said the couple's daughter, Lana Barringer, 49, suffered minor injuries but is seeing a neurologist this week because she feels dizzy.

Virginia state police said Landra Reid and her daughter were traveling near Washington on Thursday when their minivan was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer.

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