Swiss shop clerk tells Oprah Winfrey crocodile handbag is "too expensive" for her

August 10
8:27 AM 2013

Swiss tourism representatives offered their formal apology to billionaire, talk-show host and producer Oprah Winfrey. This was after she became a victim of racism while shopping for bags in Zurich.

In a television interview with Larry King, Winfrey described a kind of racism that she encountered in the Swiss city. Trois Pommes' shop assistant refused to show Winfrey a black crocodile-skin handbag worth CHF35,000 or US$38,000 last month. The employee said the bag was "too expensive" and advised Winfrey that the shop has cheaper versions in ostrich leather and suede.

According to the owner of Trois Pommes chain, Trudie Goetz, the bag was originally created for Jennifer Aniston. Goetz defended that the shop assistant is an Italian woman who cannot fluently speak English.

"This has got nothing to with racism at all," Goetz said in a telephone interview today. "It was a misunderstanding and a communication problem. The client is king here, and we try to fulfill all wishes."

The price of the bag is small amount for Winfrey, whose wealth was estimated at US$2.8 billion by Forbes magazine. Concerns regarding the decline in the tourism industry of the country have been growing due to the incident.

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