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Oprah Sorry For Bag Flap, Shopgirl Says It’s A Lie

From the Associated Press:

Oprah ‘sorry’ for Switzerland’s flap

By NICOLE EVATT | August 13, 2013

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oprah Winfrey says she’s "sorry" a media frenzy emerged after saying she experienced racism during a trip to Switzerland.

"I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident 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," Winfrey said.

"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 continued…

She is sorry she got caught lying. She wanted to keep the details vague so no one would be able to challenge her claims. (See below.)

Swiss tourism officials and the boutique owner apologized for the incident last week, but Winfrey insists there’s no need.

We don’t believe the store owner has not apologized, (see below), only the Swiss Tourism Board. Which the media has tried to use to prove the event happened as Ms. Winfrey claims.

"It’s not an indictment against the country or even that store," she continued. "It was just one person who didn’t want to offer me the opportunity to see the bag. So no apologies necessary from the country of Switzerland. If somebody makes a mistake in the United States do we apologize in front of the whole country? No!"

Obama does.

"The Butler," which opens Friday, documents the civil rights movement through the story of a butler who served in the White House for seven presidents.

So what are odds that Oprah sought to promote this movie about about racism and the civil rights movement by concocting or embellishing this incident to make it seem like racism is still alive and well even in Switzerland? (Hint: very high.)

Meanwhile, from the UK’s Daily Mail:

‘Oprah’s a liar': Sales assistant in Swiss racist handbag row denies telling TV host that she could not view item because she couldn’t afford it

By Allan Hall In Berlin | 12 August 2013

The sales assistant who refused to show U.S. talkshow billionaire Oprah Winfrey a luxury handbag costing nearly £25,000 claims the superstar lied about what happened in the luxury Swiss boutique where she works.

Speaking anonymously to Sunday newspaper SonntagsBlick, the Italian bag lady said she felt ‘powerless’ and in the grip of a ‘cyclone’ after Winfrey went on TV in America to claim she had been the victim of racism.

Winfrey was in Switzerland in July when she walked into the Trois Pommes boutique in Zurich looking for a handbag to match the outfit she was going to wear to old friend Tina Turner’s wedding.

She claims the sales assistant refused to show her the black crocodile leather bag [sic] because – seeing a black woman – she automatically assumed she would not be able to afford it.

Now the saleslady has hit back, stating: ‘I wasn’t sure what I should present to her when she came in on the afternoon of Saturday July 20 so I showed her some bags from the Jennifer Aniston collection. ‘I explained to her the bags came in different sizes and materials, like I always do.

‘She looked at a frame behind me. Far above there was the 35,000 Swiss franc crocodile leather bag.  ‘I simply told her that it was like the one I held in my hand, only much more expensive, and that I could show her similar bags.

‘It is absolutely not true that I declined to show her the bag on racist grounds. I even asked her if she wanted to look at the bag. 

‘She looked around the store again but didn’t say anything else. Then she went with her companion to the lower floor. My colleague saw them to the door. They were not even in the store for five minutes.’

She emphatically denied ever saying to Winfrey: ‘You don’t want to see this bag. It is too expensive.  You cannot afford it.’

[The shop's own, Trudie] Goetz said: ‘Everyone wants to sell a crocodile bag. It’s a misunderstanding’ and insisted her saleswomen put customers first and try to be ‘kind.’

The saleslady went on: ‘This is not true. This is absurd. I would never say something like that to a customer. Really never. Good manners and politeness are the Alpha and the Omega in this business.

‘I don’t know why she is making these accusations. She is so powerful and I am just a shop girl.

‘I didn’t hurt anyone. I don’t know why someone as great as her must cannibalize me on TV. 

Careful. That will sound racist to some people.

‘If it had all taken place as she claimed, why has she not complained the next day at the wedding of Tina Turner with Trudie Goetz, my boss? She was there also at the Turner wedding as a guest. I don’t understand it…

What kind of press would that have gotten? The Oprah had a movie to promote.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, August 13th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Oprah Sorry For Bag Flap, Shopgirl Says It’s A Lie”

  1. Helena

    Who do you believe – Oprah or economic reality? This shopgirl certainly makes less salary than the price of the bag. Her goal is commissions on high-priced items. As the shop owner said “Everyone wants to sell a crocodile bag.”

  2. Oprah knew exactly what she was doing when she accused this woman of racism on national TV. The one thing in this entire story that struck me was how Oprah told the story. I don’t remember the exact quote, but it was something like “This is what she said… to ME”. That language and emphasis on the “ME” tells me everything I need to know.

    I know Oprah is a mega celebrity. I know Oprah is a billionaire. But I know that being rich and famous tends to explode and ego from the inside. I also know that being rich and famous doesn’t excuse bad behavior (OK so mostly It does, but it shouldn’t). I’d love to see the security footage of the encounter. It would probably verify that Oprah was treated with all the courtesy that anyone is due, but not the amount that she THINKS she is due. The whole thing smacks of a “composite encounter”. Oprah just took a little poetic license to make a point.

    I hope this woman sues Oprah for defamation of character and slander. She should get paid for being Oprah’s racist punching bag.

  3. mr_bill

    It’s hard to feel sorry for somebody who wants to buy a purse that costs more than the average American makes in a year. I guess the left only hates the “rich” sometimes.

    The whole insinuation that the clerk was unaware of harpo’s celebrity is a bit gauche. “Don’t you know who I am?” It’s a terribly tacky thing to say and it’s just as tacky to imply it and that, after all, is what this whole story is about. There’s apparently a person on earth that doesn’t know who harpo is, and it sounds like her ego can’t tolerate that. Everybody is supposed to know her and know that she can buy whatever she likes. It reminds me of some of the old stories about Armand Hammer.




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