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Oprah Winfrey says ‘sorry’ for Switzerland bag flap

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Oprah Winfrey said she's sorry for the media brouhaha she created by speaking to a television reporter about the perceived racism she felt when a sales associate at an upscale shop in Zurich declined to let her see a pricey handbag.

Ms. Winfrey attributed the shop worker's refusal to discrimination. She said the associate, who didn't recognize the star, told her she couldn't afford the estimated $40,000 item and that maybe she would like to see cheaper bags.

The shop associate has since denied Ms. Winfrey's versions of events, saying she never suggested the icon couldn't afford the item. Both associate and shop owner have since apologized.

Now Ms. Winfrey has, too.

The Associated Press reported her as saying: "I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland. I'm really sorry that it got blown up. I purposely did not mention the name of the store. I'm sorry that I said it was Switzerland. 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."

Ms. Winfrey made the remarks during promotion of her new movie, "The Butler."

She also said, AP reported: "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. 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. 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."

Ms. Winfrey earned $77 million in the year that ended in June, Forbes reported.

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