Oprah Winfrey is sorry that she caused media frenzy over a handbag incident in a luxury store in Zurich. Speaking to reporters at the Los Angeles premiere of "Lee Daniels' The Butler" on Monday, August 12, the media mogul said 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," she explained, as quoted by CNN. "It's not an indictment against the country, or even that store. It's just one person who didn't want to offer me the opportunity to see the bag. So no apology necessary from the country, from Switzerland," she added.
The 59-year-old talk show host also explained at the event that she usually did not encounter racist attack outside social media. She said, "Nobody is going to come and call me the N-word to my face, unless they are a thug on Twitter or Facebook. It shows up for me differently, it shows up [when] I'm in a store and the person doesn't obviously know that I carry the 'black [Amex] card' and so they make an assessment based upon the way I look and who I am. I guess I didn't dress up enough."
Last week, Oprah told Entertainment Tonight that she went to a luxury store in Zurich as she attended Tina Turner's wedding. However, a sales assistant refused to show her a $38,000 handbag because it was "too expensive." Swiss officials apologized after the news emerged, saying, "Switzerland Tourism is deeply sorry to learn about the experience Ms. Winfrey recently had in Switzerland, and we apologize that her feelings were hurt. We would like to assure Ms. Winfrey - like any visitor to Switzerland - that she is welcome with open arms."
The unnamed sales assistant spoke up recently, "I would apologize and say it was all a misunderstanding. I surely did not intentionally want to insult Ms. Winfrey. I hope this nightmare ends soon." The store's owner Trudie Goetz agreed that the incident was "an absolute classic misunderstanding" because of the sales assistant's poor English.