Within the borders of the United States, Oprah Winfrey is incredibly famous. Apart from the President and a few random celebrities, she might be the single most famous person we have. She’s appeared on television with a remarkable consistency for decades, and while her personal life has never been a very scandalous issue, her opinion is still regularly sought, even on issues that don’t concern her. With more than a billion dollars to her name and a ton of show business power, she basically has it all. Outside of the US, however, she’s treated a little bit differently.
Last month, she was in Switzerland to attend the wedding of her friend Tina Turner when she decided to pick up a handbag. Unfortunately, her little shopping adventure did not go as planned because the sales girl refused to show her a $38,000 bag on the grounds that she “couldn’t afford it.” After asking several times and repeatedly getting rebuffed, Oprah left the shop and stayed silent about the matter until earlier this week when she gave an interview to Entertainment Tonight and recounted the tale.
It all sounds pretty damning, especially when you consider the Tourism Department of Switzerland actually released a statement apologizing to the media mogul, but Oprah’s story actually isn’t the only version. The woman who owns the shop, Trudie Goetz as per The Telegraph, claims it was all a big misunderstanding related to language barriers rather than race. She claims the shop girl, who is Italian, was trying to explain to Oprah, as she does to all customers, that the handbag in question is stupidly expensive but there are alternatives made from different materials that are significantly cheaper.
It’s understandable that an owner would want to stick up for her employee, but if Goetz is to be believed, this woman didn’t do a single thing wrong. She’s not being disciplined in the slightest nor asked to amend her behavior. The store seems to think Oprah is really the person to blame for what happened because she misinterpreted what was really going on.
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