General News

Boutique boss: 'Oprah Winfrey row was a misunderstanding'

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Aug 09, 2013 | 9:25am EDT

The owner of a Swiss boutique at the centre of a 'racism' row has apologised to Oprah Winfrey, branding the incident a "misunderstanding". The U.S. TV host alleged earlier this week (beg05Aug13) that a shop assistant at an upmarket store in Switzerland refused to let her examine a designer purse because it was too expensive. Winfrey claimed the incident came about because she is black, but the boutique's owner has now spoken out to insist the store worker was merely advising Winfrey to try some similar but less expensive bags on the shop's first floor. Trudie Goetz, who owns the Trois Pommes Boutique in Zurich, has apologised to Winfrey but is adamant there was no racist intent from the worker and the confusion stemmed from a "misunderstanding". She also insisted the staff member did not recognise the star because Winfrey's chat show is not broadcast in the country. Winfrey was in Switzerland for Tina Turner's wedding, where coincidentally Goetz was also a guest.

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