The Swiss shop clerk at the centre of Oprah Winfrey’s racism claim says the TV star is lying.
Winfrey was in Switzerland in July when she walked into the Trois Pommes boutique in Zurich looking for a handbag to match the outfit she was going to wear to old friend Tina Turner’s wedding.
She claims the sales assistant refused to show her the black crocodile leather bag because – seeing a black woman – she automatically assumed she would not be able to afford it.
Now the saleslady has hit back, stating: ‘I wasn’t sure what I should present to her when she came in on the afternoon of Saturday July 20 so I showed her some bags from the Jennifer Aniston collection.
‘I explained to her the bags came in different sizes and materials, like I always do.
‘She looked at a frame behind me. Far above there was the 35,000 Swiss franc crocodile leather bag.
‘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.’
She emphatically denied ever saying to Winfrey: ‘You don’t want to see this bag. It is too expensive. You cannot afford it.’
The saleslady went on: ‘This is not true. This is absurd. I would never say something like that to a customer. Really never. Good manners and politeness are the Alpha and the Omega in this business.
‘I don’t know why she is making these accusations. She is so powerful and I am just a shop girl.