Belfast Telegraph

Oprah sorry for Switzerland's flap

Oprah Winfrey has said she regrets the uproar that followed her accusing a shop assistant of 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," the media guru, actress and chat show host 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.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Oprah told how the assistant at an upmarket Zurich boutique refused to show her a handbag. The TV star said she was told she could not afford the 38,000 dollar (£24,500) price.

"I'm in a store and the person doesn't obviously know that I carry the black card and so they make an assessment based upon the way I look and who I am," said Oprah, who earned 77 million dollars in the year ending in June.

"I didn't have anything that said 'I have money': I wasn't wearing a diamond stud. I didn't have a pocketbook. I didn't wear Louboutin shoes. I didn't have anything," she added. "You should be able to go in a store looking like whatever you look like and say 'I'd like to see this'. That didn't happen."

Swiss tourism officials and the boutique owner apologised for the incident last week, but Oprah insisted there was no need.

"It's not an indictment against the country or even that store," she said. "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 apologise in front of the whole country? No!"


From Belfast Telegraph