Oprah Winfrey ‘sorry’ for reaction to Swiss shop’s refusal to sell $38,000 handbag to her


OPRAH Winfrey said she was sorry for the uproar and media response caused by her comments about an incident in a Swiss luxury store last month, when an assistant refused to show her a $38,100 handbag, Reuters has reported.
At the premiere of her new film, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, in Los Angeles Monday evening, the U.S. actress and talk show host, recently named by Forbes as the world’s most powerful celebrity, said she regretted saying it took place in Switzerland.
“I’m really sorry that it got blown up. I purposefully did not mention the name of the store. I’m sorry that I said it was Switzerland,” she told reporters on the red carpet.
“I was just referencing it as an example of being in a place where people don’t expect that you would be able to be there,” she added.
She even took to Twitter to say, “turns out the store clerk did me a favour; just found out that bag was $38k! She was right, I was not going to buy it. I purposely didn’t say the name of the store. I did not want it to turn to a THANG (an issue).”
Last month, the owner of a luxury goods shop in Zurich denied that racism was involved when Oprah Winfrey was discouraged from buying a 35,000 Swiss franc ($38,100) handbag.
The broadcaster said in two U.S. interviews that a sales assistant had refused to show her the crocodile handbag, saying it was “too expensive” and steering her towards other, cheaper ones.
Luxury shop Trois Pommes denied discriminating against Winfrey, an African-American, who asked to look at a “Jennifer” purse, designed by Tom Ford and named for actress Jennifer Aniston. The owner put the incident down to a language barrier.
“This is an absolute classic misunderstanding,” shop owner Trudie Goetz told Reuters.
“This has nothing to do with racism. I am here for everyone and the customer is king.”
The sales assistant had wanted to show Winfrey that the bag was also available in other materials, which may have given the TV host the impression the shop did not want to sell it to her, Goetz said. “Of course that’s not the case. Who wouldn’t want to sell a purse for 35,000 francs?” Goetz said.
Trois Pommes operates various luxury-brand boutiques in Switzerland, including the Tom Ford shop in Zurich where Winfrey said she was refused.


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