One week after Oprah Winfey told Entertainment Tonight about a run-in with an allegedly racist sales clerk in Zurich, the sales clerk is fighting back, calling Winfrey a "liar" with "absurd claims."
In an anonymous interview with Swiss paper SonntagsBlick (which the Daily Mail translated), the Italian woman denied allegations that she refused to show the TV host a $40,000 crocodile handbag because Winfrey is black.
"I don't know why she is making these accusations," she said in the interview, according to the Daily Mail's (and Google's) translation. "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."
She went on to explain her side of the incident.
“I explained to her the bags come in different sizes and materials, like I always do,” she said. “She looked at a frame behind me. Far above there was the 35,000 Swiss franc crocodile leather bag. I simply told her 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...This is not true. This is absurd. I would never say something like that to a customer.”
The incident, which Oprah discussed for the first time last Thursday, took place in July, when Oprah was in Zurich to attend Tina Turner's wedding. Oprah visited the Trois Pomme boutique, reportedly to buy a new bag to match her dress for the wedding. Oprah said that when she asked to see a $40,000 bag, the clerk told her, “No, it's too expensive.”
"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."
..."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."
[Image via AP]