Oprah Apologizes For Mentioning 'Racist' Handbag Incident, Boutique Owner Demands to Speak With Her

Oprah Racist Handbag Incident

The owner of the upscale Swiss boutique where Oprah Winfrey was barred from buying a $38,000 by a sales assistant is demanding to speak to Oprah and clear the air.

Trudi Goetz said she wanted to speak with the talk show billionaire ‘as soon as possible’ and also revealed her petrified member of staff will not be sacked or punished.

She said: ‘I don’t know why she talked of racism.  I am sorry, but perhaps she is being a little over-sensitive here.  Maybe she was somewhat offended because she was not immediately recognized in the store.’

It came as Oprah apologized for the a media frenzy that emerged as a result of the incident while on The Butler red carpet

‘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,’ 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.’

‘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 Winfrey, who earned $77 million in the year ending in June, according to Forbes magazine.

‘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 said.

‘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.’

Tros Pommes, the boutique where the incident took place.

Trois Pommes, the boutique where the incident took place.

Here’s what happened: Oprah gave an interview with Entertainment Tonight, in which she recalled a clerk at an upscale Zurich boutique refusing to show her a handbag.

Winfrey said she was told she could not afford the $38,000 tom Ford Jennifer tote and said it proved that ‘racism is still an issue’.

Meanwhile, Frau Goertz said today: ‘For God’s sake, no! I do not judge people according to their skin color, nor according to their income. I treat everyone equally. And I also expect my employees to do the same.’

MailOnline reports the saleslady in question is Italian, aged 37, and was not a full-time employee of the ritzy Trois Pommes shop in Zurich where the incident took place. She was sent to help from the sister-store in upscale St. Moritz.

The store owner, Trudie Goertz.

The store owner, Trudie Goertz.

Since the incident, she has reportedly gone into hiding. The business owner, Trudie Goertz, has been speaking on her behalf.

‘It’s absurd,’ she said. ‘Oprah came into the business, wanted to see the crocodile bag. She inquired about the price. When my saleswoman told her that it cost 35,000 francs and then offered to show her cheaper ones, she walked away.

And in a possible slap to Oprah’s diva tendencies, she added: ‘That is something that international stars appreciate in our country – that you leave them in peace.’

Ms. Goetz, who regularly features in the society pages of Swiss newspapers and magazines, said that there will be ‘no repercussions’ for her employee – an Italian woman who worked for five years in a boutique in Milan before joining her.

She went on: ‘She did everything right. I can’t blame her. She has been working for five years with me and is an excellent seller.  She usually works in St. Moritz where there is a MOST demanding clientele.

‘She is so very sensitive. I repeat once again; my saleslady only meant well because she wanted to show other bags to Oprah. To demonstrate the whole range is, for me, a perfect service. I find it regrettable that Oprah has come to this service from exactly the wrong way.

‘I saw Oprah at Tina’s wedding but I only knew her from TV.  We didn`t speak, and now unfortunately since then, this is played out before the entire world.

‘I hope the business will not suffer as a result of this.  I hope I can speak with Oprah to resolve the situation personally, as quickly as possible.’

You don’t mess with Mama O!

[via Mail Online]

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