Under tight security, Oprah Winfrey toured an encampment for Haitians displaced by a 2010 earthquake.
Winfrey, escorted by security guards, walked among the tents with actor Sean Penn, who helped create an aid group (J/P HRO) that provides support to people who live in the encampment. Oprah said Sean Penn’s efforts will be featured in an upcoming program on her Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
“This is part of the next chapter, going around the world to see interesting and fascinating cases of profound examples of what can be done to make a difference in the world,” Oprah told reporters at the encampment.
Penn said he welcomed the interest of “the world’s most elegant woman” and expected it would help Haiti. The camp where his group works was built on a former country club golf course and has been home to thousands of people since the earthquake left much of Haiti’s capital in ruins.
“Everybody who has spent time in Haiti knows how important it is for the world to see what is going on here. … We really appreciate that she’s here with us,” Penn said.
Security was out in force during her visit with Penn at the encampment.
Photographer Lionel Lafortune, who was among several journalists trying to cover Winfrey, was detained by a guard as he entered the encampment and took photos.
Later, a Winfrey spokesman said the guard apparently didn’t realize Lafortune was a journalist.
“No one knew who he was, or what he had been doing or who he was with,” the spokesman said. “He just came running in apparently and started taking photos and he was stopped and then the supervisor came and said, ‘Let him go,'” he said. “That was it.”