The sales assistant who refused to show U.S. talkshow billionaire Oprah Winfrey a luxuryhandbag costing nearly £25,000 claims the superstar lied about what happened in the luxury Swiss boutique where she works.
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, speaking anonymously to Sunday newspaper SonntagsBlick, she said ‘I wasn’t sure what I should present to her 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 franccrocodile 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.
The black bag Oprah wanted to (store owner) ‘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.’ ’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.
‘I didn’t hurt anyone. I don’t know why someone as great as her must cannibalize me on TV. ‘If it had all taken place as she claimed, why has she not complained the next day at the wedding of Tina Turner with Trudie Goetz, my boss? She was there also at the Turner wedding as a guest. I don’t understand it.
‘I spoke to Oprah Winfrey in English. My English is okay but not excellent, unfortunately. ‘I didn’t know who she was
when she came into the store. That wouldn’t have made any difference if I had. ‘We work really hard to greet all the people who come into the store with the same level of respect and treat them all equally. ‘If someone asks me whether he
or she can see an article, I always present these. Because that person is a potential buyer. And my job is to sell it.
‘I’m glad if I can sell an article. It is a reward for me, if I can sell a nice piece. This means that I’m good at my job.’
Who do we believe now?