The US chat show host, who is one of the richest women in the world, was in Zurich for Tina Turner’s wedding when she decided to go shopping alone.
Winfrey told Entertainment Tonight: “I was in Zurich the other day, in a store whose name I will not mention. I didn’t have my eyelashes on, but I was in full Oprah Winfrey gear. I had my little Donna Karan skirt and my little sandals. But obviously The Oprah Winfrey Show is not shown in Zurich.
“I go into a store and I say to the woman, ‘Excuse me, may I see the bag right above your head?’ and she says to me, ‘No. It’s too expensive.'”
The bag was apparently in the shop window behind a security wall.
When Winfrey insisted again, the woman replied: “No, no you don’t want to see that one, you want to see this one because that one will cost too much. You will not be able to afford that.”
The assistant then started to show the media owner smaller bags before she asked for a third time and was refused again.
“She said, ‘Oh I don’t want to hurt your feelings’ and I said, ‘Ok thank you so much you’re probably right I can’t afford it.'” said the 59-year-old.
Winfrey, who is the world’s only African-American billionaire, then walked out of the shop calmly.
She said: “I could’ve had the whole blow-up thing and thrown down the black card but why do that but that clearly is you know … it (racism) still exists, of course it does.”
Blick newspaper reported that Trudie Goetz, the owner of the boutique Trois Pommes, had apologised for the incident.
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