General News

Swiss tourism officials issue formal apology to Oprah Winfrey

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Aug 09, 2013 | 4:29pm EDT

Oprah Winfrey has received a formal apology from Swiss tourism representatives after the media mogul allegedly became the victim of racism while shopping in Zurich last month (Jul13). The talk show icon and actress claimed earlier this week (begs05Aug13) that a shop assistant at an upmarket store in Switzerland refused to let her examine a designer purse because it was too expensive. Winfrey was convinced the incident occurred because she is black, but the boutique's owner, Trudie Goetz, has since spoken out to insist it was simply a "misunderstanding" as the store worker was merely advising the star to try some similar but less expensive bags on the shop's first floor. Now officials from the Swiss Tourism Office have waded into the race debate and have issued a statement apologising for the way Winfrey was treated. The press release reads: "Switzerland Tourism is deeply sorry to learn about the experience Ms. Winfrey recently had in Switzerland, and we apologise that her feelings were hurt. We would like to assure Ms. Winfrey - like any visitor to Switzerland - that she is welcome with open arms." Tourism reps also reached out to Winfrey directly via Twitter.com, adding, "We are fuming - this person acted terribly wrong. We are sorry this happened to @oprah." Winfrey was in Switzerland for Tina Turner's wedding, where, coincidentally, Goetz was also a guest.

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