Sale assistant said she feels 'powerless' after the racism accusations
Oprah Winfrey claimed assistant refused to show her a handbag because it was 'too expensive'
Speaking anonymously, shop worker said claims were 'absurd'
By ALLAN HALL IN BERLIN
PUBLISHED: 06:53 EST, 12 August 2013
The shop assistant who allegedly refused to show Oprah Winfrey a handbag said the billionaire is a liar
The sales assistant who refused to show U.S. talkshow billionaire Oprah Winfrey a luxury handbag costing nearly £25,000 claims the superstar lied about what happened in the luxury Swiss boutique where she works.
Speaking anonymously to Sunday newspaper SonntagsBlick, the Italian bag lady said she felt 'powerless' and in the grip of a 'cyclone' after Winfrey went on TV in America to claim she had been the victim of racism.
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.'
Speaking anonymously, the assistant at Trois Pommes, in Zurich, Switzerland (pictured) said it is 'absolutely not true that I declined to show her the bag on racist grounds'
Ms Goetz said:'Everyone wants to sell a crocodile bag. Itís a misunderstanding' and insisted her saleswomen put customers first and try to be 'kind'
The shop assistant said she only sells a £25,000 handbag a few times a year and said the racist claims are 'absurd'