Oprah's Swiss miss: 'Sorry that it got blown up'

NEED TO KNOW
  • The media mogul recounts an allegedly racist encounter she had in a high-end Zurich shop
  • After the store is named, Winfrey apologizes
Oprah's Swiss miss: 'Sorry that it got blown up'

Oprah Winfrey regrets the attention she's getting after claiming that she experienced racism in a high-end store in Zurich, Switzerland.

Winfrey caused an uproar last week after telling Entertainment Tonight about the experience she allegedly had when she visited a Zurich shop last month and wanted to see an expensive bag, but the sales clerk assumed she could not afford it because it cost $38,000.

After Winfrey revealed the incident, the store owner and the Swiss tourism board profusely apologized, but Winfrey says the backlash has gotten out of hand. At the premiere of her new movie “The Butler” on Monday, Winfrey apologized, saying, “I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland. I’m really sorry that it got blown up. "

While she did not mention the store by name at the time, she says she "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."

Winfrey says that though she is rarely a victim of outright racism anymore, there are more subtle ways she experiences it: "I was just saying it shows up for me differently." She explained, "It shows up for me as I’m in a store and the person doesn’t honestly know that I carry the black card and so they make an assessment based upon the way I look."

According to London's Daily Mail, the alleged store clerk told Sonntags Blick newspaper that the incident is "not true," and that she's not sure why Winfrey would "cannibalize" her. "I don't know why she is making these accusations. She is so powerful and I am just a shop girl.”

Winfrey says that she does not need an apology or explanation from anyone: "It’s not an indictment against the country or even that store. It just was one person who didn’t want to offer me the opportunity to see the bag so no apologies necessary from the country of Switzerland."

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