Zurich Store Apologizes Over Oprah ‘Racism’

An upmarket Zurich store has apologized for refusing to sell celebrity US talk-show host Oprah Winfrey a handbag, in what she describes as a racist incident during her visit last month to attend Tina Turner’s wedding.

Zurich store apologizes over Oprah 'racism’

Oprah Winfrey is one of the world’s wealthiest women. Photo: BEN GABBE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Winfrey told the Entertainment Tonight programme on CBS an assistant in a luxury boutique had refused to show her a black “lizard or alligator skin” handbag she had asked to see.

The owner of the store told the Blick newspaper there had been “a misunderstanding” caused by the assistant’s failure to recognise the world famous talk-show host.

The assistant told her the bag would be too expensive for her and offered to show her others instead.

Winfrey is one of the wealthiest women in the world with a fortune estimated at 2.5 billion dollars, Blick reported.

Having been refused the bag, Winfrey says she left the shop without buying anything.

She said she rarely experienced racism – possibly because she was so well known.

Blick said the incident occurred in the chic Trois Pommes store whose owner Trudie Götz was also a guest at Turner’s wedding.

She apologized for her assistant’s behaviour, saying there had been “a misunderstanding between her and Oprah”.

The bag cost 35,000 francs and was placed behind a security panel, the paper said.

“We don’t have any facial recognition here,” Blick quoted Götz as saying.

– The Local