Oprah Winfrey says she’s sorry handbag story ‘got blown up’
Photo: Liberace, circa 1985-86. (Associated Press)
Oprah traveled to Williamson in Season 2 and held a town hall meeting where Mike and the residents had a chance to speak out and tempers flared. Oprah returned to the small town 23 years later to find out how the residents’ beliefs had changed, finding many remorseful. Sadly, Mike passed away in 1994. (Getty Images)
Winfrey, who is no longer a size 10, has since called this episode her “biggest, fattest” mistake. She also told Barbara Walters in a 2010 TV special that “I think I did myself a great disservice focusing so much on the external body features ... What I’ve learned is that overeating for me is about being out of balance and being disconnected and using that as a comfort for the stress.” (Charles Bennett / Associated Press)
One of the few things Jackson did seem to be mum about was sex. He refused to give a straight answer when Winfrey asked if he was a virgin. “I’m a gentleman,” he told Winfrey, adding that this matter was something private that he didn’t want to discuss publicly.
Photo: Michael Jackson at the 1993 Grammy Awards. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
The club’s popularity spawned the “Oprah effect” -- when lesser-known books launch onto bestseller lists because of Winfrey. (George Burns / Harpo Productions)
Photo: Winfrey exits the courthouse after the verdict in February 1998. (LM Otero / Associated Press)
Photo: Oprah helps shave Dr. Phil’s trademark mustache during a live taping of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on May 7, 2010 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. (Evan Agostini / Associated Press)
Photo: Oprah gives away a 2012 Volkswagen Beetle during her 2010 “Oprah’s Favorite Things” episode. (George Burns / PRNewsPhoto)
Above: Oprah raises a champagne toast to Dr. Oz after announcing his departure from Oprah’s show to launch “The Dr. Oz Show,” co-produced by Harpo and Sony, in 2009. (George Burns / Harpo Productions / Associated Press)
She started the giveaways in 1994, when she took her 131-member studio audience to
Yet it was her 2005 visit that brought forth some real grown-up demons. Gold went on “The Oprah Winfrew Show” to discuss her late 2004 arrest for driving under the influence, after an accident in which she drove her SUV off a freeway and injured her husband and two of her three children. It was an emotional show. “You know, a DUI is not the worst thing,” Gold said during the episode. “Hurting somebody you love is the worst thing.” (Andy Kropa / Getty Images)
In 2005, Winfrey deemed author
After the fallout, Winfrey invited Frey on her show and lashed into him by asking questions like “How much of the book is fabricated?,” “Why did you lie?” and if Frey felt as if he conned his readers as she picked apart sections of his book. Frey admitted to embellishing some of the incidents in his book. (George Burns / Associated Press)
Winfrey read comments on the show made by
“When Michelle found out I was writing the book, she vowed to do everything she could to discredit me.... She’s either protecting the Mamas and Papas brand or is having a textbook reaction: She’s embarrassed, sweep it under the carpet, protect the abuser,” Phillips told Winfrey. (Chris Pizello / Associated Press; Angela Weiss / Getty Images)
Fergie made another appearance on Oprah’s show, pictured here, to promote her reality series “Finding Sarah,” which will air on OWN. She also spoke out about her snub from Prince William and
Oprah Winfrey is apologizing for the media maelstrom that followed the experience with racism she said she went through in Switzerland.
The media maven, 59, addressed the recent incident Monday at the Los Angeles premiere for Lee Daniels’ “The Butler,” a film in which she makes her first big-screen appearance in 15 years.
First, some background: The TV queen had been refused the opportunity to look at a $38,000 Tom Ford handbag at Zurich’s tony Trois Pommes store while she was shopping on her own in the Swiss city. Winfrey said the saleswoman, who didn’t recognize her, told her the Jennifer bag was “too expensive” for her. After failing to persuade the saleswoman to bring her the bag, Winfrey said, she left the boutique without making a big deal about how she was treated.
Winfrey brought up the incident when she was asked about racism during an Entertainment Tonight interview, though she refused to mention the name of the shop.
“There’s two different ways to handle it,” Winfrey said in the interview. “I could’ve had the whole blow-up thing and thrown down the black card and all that stuff. But why do that? Clearly, [racism] still exists, of course it does.”
But the media being what it is, all the pertinent details got out. (Because nobody tussles with Oprah and gets away with it.)
The Swiss Tourism Office has since issued an apology for the mishap. But the shop claimed the whole thing was “a misunderstanding” that had nothing to do with racism and resulted in their shop girl being unfairly attacked. The saleswoman also called Winfrey “a liar,” according to German newspaper Sontaggs Blick (via the Daily Mail).
At “The Butler” premiere, she responded.
“I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland,” she told the Associated Press and CNN. “I’m really sorry that it got blown up. I purposefully did not mention the name of the store.
“I’m sorry that I said it was Switzerland. I was just referencing it as an example of being in a place where people don’t expect that you would be able to be there.”
Winfrey had previously said that there had been no need for an apology from the shop.
“It’s not an indictment against the country or even that store,” she said. “It was just one person who didn’t want to offer me the opportunity to see the bag. So no apologies necessary from the country of Switzerland. If somebody makes a mistake in the United States, do we apologize in front of the whole country? No!”
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