Oprah Winfrey is not letting an alleged racist experience at a Zurich boutique faze her – in fact, she doesn’t even need an apology.
While in Switzerland for Tina Turner’s July wedding, Oprah was shopping when a clerk in a store refused to let the media queen see a $38,000 purse.
On Monday, at the premiere of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” in Los Angeles, Oprah spoke to Access’ Shaun Robinson about the incident, saying she’s “so sorry” that it has caused such a media storm.
“No apology was necessary. It was one person and one person does not indict an entire country. I am so sorry that became such a big story,” she said.
So how did the talk show legend handle the situation?
“I walked out of that store. I didn’t want to cause a scene. That happens to people every single day. You know that happens,” she explained. “And so I didn’t want to make a big deal about that. I just said, ‘OK, I can’t afford the bag.’ And then I was asked… [if] had I ever experienced racism, and that was the first thing that came to my mind.
“The misunderstanding is, hello, the misunderstanding is maybe she just didn’t want to reach for the bag,” Oprah continued. “I just assumed that you know, the bag was up here, it was not in a glassed in case. I said, ‘May I see it?’ She said, ‘No, let me show you some others that are less expensive.’ And I said, ‘Well, I want to see that one.’ And then she said, ‘No.’ And then I said, ‘OK,’ and left.”
Oprah told Shaun that she did not want to namedrop who she was to the clerk.
“I don’t want a scene. I don’t want a problem,” she said “I just went, ‘OK, you don’t want to do that, that’s OK.’”
Oprah had even worked hard to look her best while out shopping that day in Zurich.
“I know people can be snooty out there in those stores. You know? They can treat you like you don’t have no money. So I purposely dressed up and it still didn’t work,” she said with a laugh.
Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.