Oprah: Racist Clerk at Swanky Shop Refused Me

Swiss shop attendant said $35K bag too expensive, says Winfrey
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2013 10:59 AM CDT
Oprah: Racist Clerk at Swanky Shop Refused Me
Media mogul and actress Oprah Winfrey attends a special screening of "Lee Daniels' The Butler" on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

It's safe to say no handbag in the world is too expensive for Oprah, but an attendant at an upscale shop in Zurich seemed to think otherwise. While visiting the city last month, the talk-show queen says a clerk refused to show her a $35,000 bag, claiming she couldn't afford it, an incident that proves racism "still exists," says Oprah. "Of course it does." She tells ET, "I could've had the whole blow-up thing and thrown down the black card, but why do that?" Instead, she left without a fuss.

Now, the shop owner tells the BBC it was all a "misunderstanding." "My salesperson wanted to give her the handbag in her hand. But she didn't want to take the bag," Trudie Gotz says, adding the attendant "takes care of the most spoiled customers from all over the world. She is really a correct sales person." But Oprah says the clerk tried to show her smaller bags though she insisted several times she wanted to see the big one. USA Today reports that the Swiss tourism board has sided with Oprah, tweeting, "this person acted terribly wrong." (Read more Oprah Winfrey stories.)

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