Oprah Winfrey Tells a Damaging Lie?

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey
Famous, super-rich elitist Oprah Winfrey – who’s craving for attention knows no limits – was determined to chime in on the ongoing national debate about race-relations. The sheer scale of Winfrey’s success, power and personal fortune shows that she has probably never, in her adult life, been on the receiving end of racial discrimination. To interject herself into the debate, therefore, she made up a story – but Winfrey should understand that lies are damaging; when you tell a lie, it is going to have negative consequences for someone.

It is unlikely that Winfrey cares about the consequences of her little fictional tale but, for Swiss sales associate “Adriana N,” the damage is done. Adriana is the employee of the Zurich store, Trois Pommes (Three Apples), who allegedly declined to show Winfrey a $38,000 handbag. According to Winfrey, this was obviously a case of racism; since Winfrey is black, it was automatically assumed that she could not afford the item. The entire story is, of course, preposterous for a number of reasons.

Trois Pommes, an upmarket chain of stores which sell women’s designer clothing, shoes and accessories, is the kind of establishment that is routinely patronized by the rich and famous. Within such stores, the sales associates would be trained specifically to not treat their customers in the manner Winfrey claims she was treated. There can be little doubt that, when Winfrey entered the store, she was wearing clothes that were worth more than Adriana earns in a year. Why, then, would this associate make an assumption that the American celebrity could not afford the item in question? Does Winfrey assume that Trois Pommes had never before been visited by a wealthy black person? Did she really think that the Swiss are unaware of the existence of non-white rich people?

Speaking to Swiss newspaper Sonntags Blick, Adriana says that Winfrey’s claim of discrimination is “absolutely untrue.” The sales associate, who, it now appears, is the innocent victim of Winfrey’s spiteful and damaging lie, recounts the events of that day; “I even asked her if she wanted to take a closer look at the bag. Mrs. (sic) Winfrey looked around in the store again, but did not say anything further,” Adriana told the paper. “Then she went downstairs with her companion. My colleague held the door open for them. They were not even five minutes in our store.”

The sales associate also told the newspaper that she has not been able to sleep properly for days and explained that the incident has turned her world – at least for the time being – upside down.

Winfrey, perhaps feeling guilty for making up a story that – she now realizes – has had a very negative effect on someone else’s life, has since tried to defuse the situation. She apparently now regrets that the story got “blown up”, but she should have known that it would; an extremely high-profile businesswoman and television star claiming that she was discriminated against because she is black? There was no question that the story was going to attract a considerable amount of attention. Now that the unwitting victim of Winfrey’s flight of fancy has spoken out to contradict her account of events, the TV diva realizes, perhaps, that she has been caught in a lie. Lies – told by anyone – are usually damaging to someone else. When someone of Oprah Winfrey’s stature tells a lie, its effects are far more damaging; Adriana is probably lucky that she still has her job. Winfrey should consider herself lucky that she probably will not be sued for defamation of character, by both the store owner and her unfortunate employee.

An Op/Ed by Graham J Noble

77 thoughts on “Oprah Winfrey Tells a Damaging Lie?

  1. It?s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you?re talking about! Thanks

  2. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!

  3. Racism was rampant when Oprah was a kid. I am her same age and also grew up in the South. Did the author of this article say Oprah probably never experienced racism when white only signs were everywhere when Oprah was a kid!

  4. I am the same age as Oprah and also grew up black n the South. I certainly remember white only water fountains and white only signs this author lost credibility saying Oprah probably never experienced racism! Delusional is the word for it.

  5. Racism has nothing to do with color, I am so sick of hearing that. I am a white women that is married to a black man and work in an almost complete Hispanic environment. Who is the minority in this situation, Shall I cry out that I’m not being treated fairly because I’m white? Skin color has nothing I repeat nothing to do with a person’s wealth. get over it people get off your A** and get a life.

  6. Most celebs don’t always dress up when going out, I believe her and it could have been in the look the sales rep gave her. I don’t know how some white people could comment about what racism feels like or looks like, it most definitely is not always words but actions like trying to show you something different more suitable for what they believe your worth is. This person may not even have known it was her cause of the look alike.

  7. Never heard this story about Oprah. I do know there was a refusal of entry to Hermes in Paris. I also know that just because one has money as an African American adult does not retro exempt one from racism or socioeconomic disparity. Many ” Black ” celebs never for get their normal day to day racial struggle after becoming ” CELEBRITY “.This story is a wrong prime example about black perceived entitlements .Oprah and I ” are judged on our skin on a daily basis and not our merit. I really dispise the fact that Oprahs wealth and fame is the vetting factor for the authors harsh article. Futhermore I know for a fact this author has never met Oprah or been in her company as evidenced by the tone and choice of the word elitist which she is not.

  8. wow robin came off as very unstable.
    Oprah’s own family has outed her stories of extreme poverty as tales of sensationalism or in their words, she’s a liar (not defined as someone who lies down but as someone who tells lies) I think such a high end shop would have had CCTV surveillance, I think Oprah told her story for a purpose, the shop owner and the employee likely signed nondisclosure agreements relatively quickly after the story blew up, and the ironic thing is by crying wolf claiming to be the victim of racism. She herself perpetrated a racist act and her act is so much more unforgivable than some racist who just doesn’t know any better. Because she does and claims to suffer from it herself.

    Leave it to Oprah to tell a cute story of racism, an average white girl in the service industry unconsciously racist but honestly trying to be helpful to a black client.

    By definition Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior. I’m not sure that’s the problem in our society. I think the real problem is race hate.
    people need to quite feeding it.

    if you want respect give it even it you’re not getting it returned. Only an A-hole doesn’t return respect.

  9. So, Oprah is free from the possibility of making mistakes, Robin? I’m glad that you know her so well. I have no views on her regarding her race or gender (I’m not racist or sexist), but I do think she milks an opportunity for “fame” in every way that she can. This to me is sad. She’s exploited the American public because the public is too interested in the views of a celebrity than coming up with anything original on their own.

  10. I don’t believe oprah did that. The employee probably didnt even knowWHO THE HELL OPRAH WAS.what does woman may feel was not discrimination another African American might.just because you’re trained to deal with the rich and famous does not mean you will treat of a rich black woman the a a white rich women… PEOPLE ARE JEALOUS AND HATE THE FACT THAT OPRAH IS AT THE LEVEL SUCCESS SHE IS AT…

  11. its easy to judge someone over one singular incident.. who knows, maybe shes genuinely a good person? or maybe shes a horrible liar.. maybe she was having a bad day and vented on the wrong person in the wrong way. who knows. Regardless, it is still appalling to see anyone tell a lie that could ultimately ruin another person life

  12. Shame on u Oprah. I thought you were a better an professional person. I guess not. Ur a racist

  13. Shame on Oprah.. How dare she…Well it surly stands to see that she is definitely a racist herself ….How dare her (Oprah) to do something as serious in this world as that. We already have a BIG problem with that. So for someone in her profession and status to make up a lie like that….Just made it worse and put racism back on the map more than it was. SHAME ON U OPRAH …Shame on you.!!!

  14. I’ve always thought she was a bit of a fake because there are too many times she’s wiping her eyes, but there are no tears! What do you think about that, ever noticed it?

  15. I’m not sure what was going through her mind to state that situation was a act of crime that many truly face even in today’s society……

  16. Does not surprise me in the least. I actually find her to br one of the most sexist and racist of all female celebs. I mean if your a white male your everything this woman detests

  17. Go to Hell “Otis”! I am glad that this store employee had the internal fortitude to tell the truth about miss Oprah. Race relations are worse now than they were 40 years ago and we have Obama to thank for that. I think it takes a very weak person to play the race card.

  18. You people don’t have anything constructive to talk about? Leave the woman alone and mind your own business.

  19. Oprah, in my opinion, has always been fake. She lied about being raised in filth, she lied about being sexually abused, and now shes lied about being discriminated against. She is such a phony who will say or do anything to keep herself in the public eye. She has enough $ she shouldnt have to work ever again. She needs to just go away.

  20. Miss Oprah, what goes around comes around! Money does not make you happy &
    healthy. Her POWER is diminishing, as we recently observed @ the Oscars.
    Always playing the VICTIM you must be exhausted!

  21. Opera does whatever it takes to get in the headlines, not carding about who she steps on in the process. I use to think it would be great to be in the audience of one of her shows when she had the, oprahs favorite things close to Christmas. Till I saw a Behind the scene on getting ready for that show. Her staff does all the work. They are terrified of her. Most of the stuff she has never seen before. They would make up a display of everything and prayer she liked it. Changed my mind. She’s so fake.

  22. This is a terribly written article, I had to check about three times that I was actually still reading something off the Guardian’s website.

  23. (I am African American) If I was that young lady she did this too, I would have sued Oprah. For years Oprah has walked around while people put her on a pedestal that she was just so good and everyone loved her. Now she thinks she can say or do anything to people and get away with it. I know the store wants good publicity by letting this slide, but what is the young lady getting out of it. I think the store ought to be ashamed of themselves telling her to let it slide. I bet the next person that Oprah does this to and there will be a next time because Oprah thinks she will get away with it again, they will sue her and win. Why? Because it is now out there and the public sees that she did this to another young lady and the young lady did nothing.

  24. Oprah has made her millions (and millions) by blowing the issue de jour way out of proportion. Sensationalism is her standard, so one more lie is nothing new. Remember when she said she would never eat another hamburger? This time there was a name on her victim Whatever, Oprah.

  25. Oprah, has done way to much to help the under poor I really do not know what the big deal is…She is a great person and those who have no sins in their lives cast the first stone. Live and let live. I don’t know what her life was like whether she was poor or wealthy but this world has too much drama in personal lives already.. We are a very failing nation and have serious issues going on and should be ashamed of our self that Oprah’s past should be such a topic. I am a southern white woman and have seen the blacks mistreated and I do sympathise with the ones that have been hurt. I have many black friends but do not agree with all this bull that’s going on right now with these fightings and all the mess with police etc. Wish you people could just get down on your knees and pray for America and stop all the gossiping. Oprah is a very beautiful black american that has come a long way and made it…It must be nice….God be with her and she’s the only one that can be punished for her wrongs. NOT YOU so give it a rest. Search your own heart.

  26. Her story was probably meant as a harmless example of discrimination that plaques our world and puts separation to our races unjustly. She didn’t expect it to be literal. Politicians exaggerate facts to make a point, that was how I perceive it. Oprah is so famous that her story immediately reached the other side of the world and thus caused an unwilling disputed. Whether or not it can be determined what actually occurred is irrelevant as it comes to the point that persons of color are too often in the past and present left hurt. Perhaps the salespersons reputation was hurt unjustly, but I would bet sales there thanks to the clerk are better than ever.

  27. Someone DOES NOT GET where OPRAH HAS GOTTEN without stepping on a few toes, hurting a few people’s feelings and putting charity by the wayside. This is a determined woman who had a dream…and NO ONE was going to/will stand in her way. In my opinion, Oprah is waaaaaay to rich to truly be a giving person. It’s so easy to give when you’re rich, especially as rich as she is. But what do I know? I’m just a lowly banker from Alabama.

  28. For real, is the the hand bag mad from gold, and embedded with diamonds? And is it the size of a horse?! $38,000… That is more then what 98% of the worlds population makes in a year. (the top 2% makes 25,000 at least) 38k… for a hand bag… cant get my mind around that.

  29. @ William, agreed… BUT, even worse imo is that this is about a $38,000 handbag (and $38k is certainly enough money to feed a lot of homeless or starving families… do we really need $38,000 handbags???

    1. Get over what, her pushing lies about racism, to make white people look bad? Oprah only does what profitable for Oprah, if you think she is helping anyone your an idiot.

  30. I don’t knw if this is tru or not,but if it is…wow!! It goes to show u what type of person this Oprah is. On the other hand if this lady frm this store really did discriminate against Oprah,well that goes to show everyone that racism has no boundaries and is here to stay.

  31. There are kids who are starving and homeless and this is all about a handbag at a store come on people

  32. Oprah never recanted her statement and who’s to say that this salesperson is not lying. I’m just saying, if someone of Oprah’s stature lied on me and caused me undue duress I would be seeking retribution for their lies. She has done nothing other than talk to whomever wrote this article. Is this even a creditable news site??? All I’m saying is that racism is still very much real and if the swiss would treat Kim Kardasian a certain way because of her ties with Kanye then they would also mistreat Oprah. But I see others have taken this opportunity to bring others into this scenario, that had absolutely nothing to do with this story…and that in itself is a racist offense. Obama and his wife had nothing to do with this…neither did All Sharpton. Some of you claim not to be racist and keep pointing the finger at those who suffer at the hands of racist daily….maybe y’all should be standing before a mirror and pointing at yourselves.

  33. do any of you guy remember the account of slavery have you forgotten if you remember that awful history you would keep quiet, unless just maybe in your heart you wish you desire you long to do what your fore fathers did lol read your hearts didn’t I

    1. indeed you did. we all want to re-enslave black people. you are correct you freaking mentally handicapped child.

  34. This day in time theres no shortage of raceist hatred breeders, this will always be an issue because poeple thrive on the attention

  35. You what else America has been gracious to these Racist like Oprah, Obama, H.Greed, Michelle Obama, V. Jarrett, Sharpton, J, Jackson, Holder, Hitlary, you name it: well the word is out now, we all know who they are and what they are. They should be ashamed for lying like they do. When all their finery, money, was made off of hard working Americans. Some how ljcarolyne got too many g’s in my other post, sorry. BTW Oprah and all the BO Regime is going to get their just deserves, you reap what you sow. haha

  36. Whether or not she told a lie or not, she is a big influence on the American public, therefore, she should be helping to stop racism, not contributing to it! If it truly is a lie, shame on her! Instead again of trying to cause more issues with racism, she could easily have turned this around to say, she succeeded in life, a black woman, succeeded! I have lost my respect for Oprah!

  37. Oprah Winfrey is nothing but a fake! She has been from day one when she first appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show.

  38. The heading says “Oprah Whinfrey Tells a Damaging Lie”? notice there is a question mark at the end…..Therefor it is questionable of what accrued and I haven’t seen a statement from Oprah thus far stating that the events never happened, and I’m not saying they did or didn’t…..My feeling are something happened and it may have been blow out of proportion by the media when the event first happened, remember there is 3 sides to every story and this story definitely has 3 sides.

  39. Poor Oprah, how she must be suffering! Even IF it were true I doubt it really had any effect on her whatsoever. So many people just fuel the idea of racism because without it they have nothing to whine about our get attention for. There is a great deal of discrimination from those claiming they have been a victim of it directed at anyone that would dare to defy their claims. Obviously there is a vast number of successful black people in our country to show that those who work hard can attain their goals. Stop whining Oprah and be thankful you have been successful.

  40. We live in an age where people feel entitled to everything and will say what ever they want to make a point or get what they want. Oprah is a perfect example of the “racism” that exist today. Meaning, it’s brought on by themselves. How many others shout racism / discrimination falsely, and innocent people pay the price. We have a African American president, the African American population is hardly a minority anymore.

  41. there are people who dont have heat or medicine or food and we are upset about whether someone was discriminated against over looking at a handbag? My God! WHO CARES?!!!!!!

  42. Anything to discredit a person of color. I know for a fact that type of stuff happens. People do it all of the time. Segregation still lives.

  43. u guys hear one side of the story and think you it, oprah is a billionaire to me the store clerk has more to gain then oprah does from this story lol

  44. ophra .. this is the ego who react.. you should let it go…you spiritual.. the NO REACTION .. is the way.. you can not feel offended knowing what you know.. right?

  45. Oprah Winfrey is all about getting her next story line. She buys stories, sells stories, talks stories, and tells others’ stories. This was her chance to garner more attention. I don’t trust anything she says.

  46. I was a great admirer of Oprah…this has really upset me….how very unwise of her to say something that has not happened. My sympathies to the victim….

  47. Oprah has cavities in picture at the top of the page ha. she’s just a rich narcissist who is obviously racist against sweeds

  48. Don’t understand the comments here that seem to indicate that Winfrey “would not lie”. Are you kidding? This woman is one of the biggest egoists on the planet and when there isn’t a news story about her on a daily basis she’ll make one up. She’s the biggest racist around. The person who commented that others have drunk the “Obama Kool-Aid” have it wrong……………..it’s the “Oprah Kool-Aid” and believe me it’s poisonous!!!

  49. I believe it happened. Now, it is possible some things were misunderstood by both parties. However, I don’t believe Oprah would have just made up a crazy story like this. She has no reason to do so.

  50. Oprah is a greedy cheap liar. She is very selfish and racist human being. She even mistreats her own family and did not help them out even though she is a billionaire. And she lies about growing up poor that is a big lie too. And she acts as if she is the biggest philanthropist when in reality all are charity are from sponsors.

    And the poor worker knew who oprah was because Oprah is also famous outside of America.
    Oprahs story is a blatant lie so oprah can promote herself by playing the victim role and at the same time in order to promote the race crap.

    Its sad so many people are brainwashed by this woman.
    Oprahs entire image is a lie in reality she is a ignorant stuck up racist hateful rich jerk

  51. lie i doubt it what may have happened is Oprah walked in with her companion, Adriana probably didn’t immediately recognize Ms Winfrey with her companion, they casually walk over to the counter Oprah body language most likely was saying browsing not shopping and the woman hesitated to offer Oprah a chance to look at the handbag closely and then Oprah may have felt a slight we all can see through this right ???

  52. Why would Oprah lie? I am not saying that she isn’t just that there is nothing to gain by lying?

    The only reason Oprah would have to lie is tht she is bored with her life, which is almost perfect, and decided to ruin someone else’s for kicks and giggles. Seems a bit far fetched.

    1. I do not believe that she lied about the incident to deliberately ruin anyone’s life. I don’t think the consequences of her actions even occurred to her. I think that she wanted to take part in the new national past-time of race-baiting and she needed a personal experience to do so. I’m quite certain that she made this story up on the spur of the moment, not realizing the potential repercussions.

      I think the fact that she has since attempted to play down the entire incident lends credence to my theory: If she believed that she had genuinely been the victim of racial ‘profiling’, she would not now be brushing this matter off so lightly.



      1. Oprah’s worth billions… do we really believe she would be ‘cowed down’ by a lowly store clerk, c’mon. Maybe a real ‘hooty-pooty’ clerk could make her feel so tiny, insecure and inferior.. but have you seen Oprah’s showsss..she goes toe to toe with real heavyweights.

  53. Not to mention the clerk would get a percentage of the sale of the bag…so why would she steer someone away from such an expensive bag that would have yielded such a large commission?

    Good article. Oprah does no justice to the fight against real racism.

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