Racist Shop Clerk Tells Oprah Handbag is 'Too Expensive' for Her

You'd think someone like Oprah Winfrey wouldn't have a problem going into any shop in the world to buy whatever the hell she damn well pleases. But you'd be wrong.

On a recent trip to Zurich to attend Tina Turner's wedding, Oprah decided to stop by the Trois Pomme boutique on Bahnhofstrasse — the third most expensive street in the world — to pick up a new $40,000 handbang.

An impulse purchase for the woman who made $77 million in the last year alone.

"No. It's too expensive," the shopkeeper told Oprah when she asked to see the bag.

"One more time, I tried," the Empress of All Media told Entertainment Tonight. "I said, 'But I really do just want to see that one,' and the shopkeeper said, 'Oh, I don't want to hurt your feelings,' and I said, 'Okay, thank you so much. You're probably right, I can't afford it.' And I walked out of the store."

Sadly, the perfect Pretty Woman moment was squandered, but Oprah did have some afterthoughts on the reasoning behind the clerk's reaction.

"I could've had the whole blow-up thing and thrown down the black card, but why do that?" Oprah said. "But that clearly is, you know... [Racism] still exists. Of course it does."

Officials in Switzerland have been trampling over each other to apologize since the incident came to light.

"We are very sorry for what happened to her," Swiss tourism office spokeswoman Daniela Baer told the Associated Press.

"[It was] obviously very regrettable," Zurich Tourism communications director Christian Trottmann said to CBS News.

"This person acted terribly wrong," the tourism office wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the shop's owner Trudie Goetz, blamed the whole thing on a "misunderstanding," saying Oprah got the shoddy treatment that she did because the assistant didn't recognize her.

Goetz also faulted the fact that the employee is Italian and doesn't speak English very well.

If that's the case, then please allow me to translate: Grande errore, signora. Enorme.

[screengrab via ET]