The owner of a luxury goods shop in Zurich, Switzerland has denied that racism was involved when Oprah Winfrey was discouraged from buying a 35,000 Swiss franc ($38,100) handbag, the Reuters website reports today (August 10, 2013).
The U.S. talk show host -- recently named the world's most powerful celebrity -- was in Switzerland for the wedding of singer Tina Turner when the incident occurred last month.
The broadcaster said in two U.S. interviews that a sales assistant had refused to show her the crocodile handbag, saying it was "too expensive" for her and steering her towards other, cheaper ones.
Luxury shop Trois Pommes (Three Apples) denied discriminating against Winfrey -- an African-American -- who asked to look at a "Jennifer" purse, designed by Tom Ford and named for actress Jennifer Aniston. The owner claimed the incident was due to a "language barrier." Shop owner Trudie Goetz told Reuters yesterday, "This has nothing to do with racism."