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Swiss clerk tells Oprah Winfrey she can't afford $35,000 handbag

By Brett Wilkins     Aug 9, 2013 in Entertainment
The wealthiest woman in entertainment was told while visiting a chic Zurich boutique that she couldn't see a $35,000 handbag because it was "too expensive" for her.
While visiting Switzerland to attend Tina Turner's wedding, Oprah Winfrey, ranked the 'richest woman in entertainment' by Forbes, stopped by the tony Trois Pommes boutique near Banhofstrasse to purchase a very expensive Tom Ford crocodile handbag.
Winfrey, the 59-year-old star of the newly-released Lee Daniels film "The Butler," appeared on "Entertainment Tonight" on Monday and discussed how she was treated by the Trois Pommes clerk.
"I didn't have my eyelashes on, but I was in full Oprah Winfrey gear. I had my little Donna Karan skirt and my little sandals on and all that, but Obviously the 'Oprah Winfrey Show' is not shown in Zurich," Winfrey deadpanned.
When Winfrey asked to see the $35,000 Tom Ford bag, the clerk told her "No, it's too expensive." The famed media mogul, who is worth an estimated $1.5 billion, asked to see the bag again. Again, she was refused. "No, no, no, you don't want to see that one," the clerk allegedly said. "You want to see this one because that one will cost too much and you will not be able to afford that."
The clerk then allegedly tried to show Winfrey less expensive handbags, but she insisted on seeing the one she wanted.
"Oh, I don't want to hurt your feelings," the clerk then allegedly said.
"Okay, thank you so much," Winfrey told the woman as she walked out of the store. "You're probably right, I can't afford it."
Was walking away without making a big scene difficult for the billionaire Winfrey?
"I could have had the big blowup thing and thrown down the black card and all that stuff," she told "Entertainment Tonight." "But why do that?"
"But that clearly is, you know, [racism] still exists," Winfrey added. "Of course it does.
Trudie Goetz, head of Trois Pommes, denies that Winfrey was a victim of racial discrimination.
"This is an absolute misunderstanding," Goetz told Us Weekly. "Any sales person would love to sell a crocodile bag. She simply explained that the bag [Oprah] wanted to look at was beautiful but in a very high price range and suggested lower-priced models in leather, ostrich and so forth."
Goetz, who ironically attended Tina Turner's wedding along with Winfrey, insisted "there was no discrimination."
ABC News reports the Swiss National Tourism Office tweeted an apology to Winfrey, saying the Trois Pommes clerk "acted terribly wrong."
"We are very sorry for what happened to her," Tourism Office spokeswoman Daniela Baer told the Associated Press on Friday.
More about Oprah Winfrey, Zurich, Racism, banhofestrasse zurich, tina turner wedding
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