Oprah sorry for Switzerland racial flap - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Oprah sorry for Switzerland racial flap

Posted: Updated:
(WJBK) -

The Zurich boutique clerk accused of racially profiling Oprah Winfrey is firing back - claiming the media mogul's account "is not true."

"I would never say something like that to a customer. Really never," the unidentified Italian woman told a Swiss newspaper.

Though Winfrey didn't reveal the name of the establishment, the interview caused a national uproar in Switzerland when a local paper revealed the shop. The European nation's official tourism office condemned the attendant's conduct as "terribly wrong."

The international incident was sparked by Winfrey's trip to Switzerland last month for her friend Tina Turner's wedding, but not revealed by the billionaire media mogul until an interview with 'Entertainment Tonight' last week.

Winfrey said she asked a clerk to see a $38,000 Tom Ford bag behind a glass case, but the clerk said, ‘No, it's too expensive.'

The shop attendant has a much different version of events than the one relayed by Winfrey.

"I simply told her that it was like the one I held in my hand, only much more expensive, and that I could show her similar bags. It is absolutely not true that I declined to show her the bag on racist grounds. I even asked her if she wanted to look at the bag."

"She looked around the store again but didn't say anything else. Then she went with her companion to the lower floor. My colleague saw them to the door. They were not even in the store for five minutes."

"Store owner Trudie Goetz publicly defended her employee, telling Reuters, "This is an absolute classic misunderstanding possibly caused by the clerk's imperfect command of English."

When asked by the Swiss newspaper what she would say to Winfrey if she had the chance to talk to her again, the clerk responded: "I would apologize and say it was all a misunderstanding. I surely did not intentionally want to insult Ms. Winfrey," she said. "I hope this nightmare ends soon."

Winfrey seems to agree on that point. Offering up her own apology at the premiere for her upcoming film 'TheButler' in Los Angeles. "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."

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Sunday's storm captured by Fox 2 viewers

    Sunday's storm captured by Fox 2 viewers

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:48 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:48:38 GMT
    We have more video of the storm and storm damage from across southeast Michigan. It's Fox 2 viewer pics and video that you sent to us.
    We have more video of the storm and storm damage from across southeast Michigan. It's Fox 2 viewer pics and video that you sent to us.
  • Storm damage in Oakland and Macomb counties

    Storm damage in Oakland and Macomb counties

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:26:48 GMT
    Damage was reported across Metro Detroit Sunday after severe storms moved across our area. About 200,000 customers lost power in the hail, heavy rain, strong winds, localized flooding and thunder and lightning.
    Damage was reported across Metro Detroit Sunday after severe storms moved across our area. About 200,000 customers lost power in the hail, heavy rain, strong winds, localized flooding and thunder and lightning.
  • Person of interest sought in April Millsap murder

    Person of interest sought in April Millsap murder

    Sunday, July 27 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-07-27 23:57:45 GMT
    We now know more about who police are looking for in the murder of April Millsap, 14, of Armada. Sunday, police released a sketch of a person of interest in the unsolved case.
    We now know more about who police are looking for in the murder of April Millsap, 14, of Armada. Sunday, police released a sketch of a person of interest in the unsolved case.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • What's HotMore>>

  • New hearing aid technology syncs with your iPhone

    New hearing aid technology syncs with your iPhone

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:03:18 GMT
    Ten percent of Americans have some hearing loss but most of the people who could get help from a hearing aid won't wear one because they are embarrassed. But now, new technology may change the way we feel about hearing aids.
    Ten percent of Americans have some hearing loss but most of the people who could get help from a hearing aid won't wear one because they are embarrassed. But now, new technology may change the way we feel about hearing aids.
  • The new way to capture your proposal on video

    The new way to capture your proposal on video

    Friday, July 25 2014 7:35 PM EDT2014-07-25 23:35:24 GMT
    It looks like an ordinary ring box, but it's designed with a hidden camera to capture your special moment.
    It looks like an ordinary ring box, but it's designed with a hidden camera to capture your special moment.
  • On Your Side: Samsung cell phone fire

    On Your Side: Samsung cell phone fire

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:31:18 GMT
    A 13-year-old North Texas girl was awoken in the night by a smoldering cell phone on the other side of her pillow, but the cell phone manufacturer says she did something they warn users about.
    A 13-year-old North Texas girl was awoken in the night by a smoldering cell phone on the other side of her pillow, but the cell phone manufacturer says she did something they warn users about.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices