Oprah Winfrey Apologizes For Switzerland Racism Story

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Oprah Winfrey says she's "sorry" for the media frenzy she triggered after she said in an interview that she experienced racism during a trip to Switzerland.

The talk show queen said she never intended this to be a big story:

"I think 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. I 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 recalled in a sit-down with ET that a clerk at an upscale Zurich boutique once refused to show her a handbag, unaware of who she was.

Oprah, who earned $77 million over the last fiscal year, said she was told matter-of-factly several times that she could not afford the $38,000 purse.

"You should be able to go in a store looking like whatever you look like and say 'I'd like to see this.' That didn't happen," she lamented of the implied racism.

"I didn't have anything that said 'I have money': I wasn't wearing a diamond stud. Didn't have a pocketbook. Didn't wear Louboutin shoes. Didn't have anything."

"I'm in a store and the person doesn't obviously know that I carry the black card and so they make an assessment based upon the way I look and who I am."

Swiss tourism officials and the boutique owner quickly apologized.

Oprah Winfrey insists there's no need to do so, however.

"It's not an indictment against the country or even that store," she continued. "It was just one person who didn't want to offer me the opportunity to see the bag."

"So no apologies necessary from the country of Switzerland. If somebody makes a mistake in the United States do we apologize in front of the whole country? No!"

As for whether her new project Lindsay Lohan can keep it clean or Kris Jenner's Oprah Afro requires an apology ... we'll leave that up to you to decide.

In Oprah's case, some have criticized her words as empty, alleging that she HAD to know this would cause a controversy and isn't sorry at all.

What do you think of Winfrey's comments on the matter?


Oprah Winfrey Biography

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Oprah Winfrey is a very famous talk show host. Maybe you have heard of her. She may not pump her own gas anymore, but she's extremely... More »
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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey Quotes

I like money. It's good for buying things. What you want is money with meaning. Meaning is what brings real richness to your life.

Oprah Winfrey

Anyone that tells you that having your own private jet isn't great is lying to you.