Meghan Markle: Oprah Winfrey shows off gifts from Duchess
The celebrity talk show host is one of the most influential people in the US and the 20th wealthiest person in the world. Oprah will send shockwaves through the Royal Family this weekend when her “no subject” is “off-limits” interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry airs. During her interview, she will likely delve into the Duchess’ claims of racism and “racial bias”.
Oprah, 67, has faced her own personal struggles due to the colour of her skin and detailed several shocking moments that shaped her.
She described herself as a “product of the Civil Rights movement” and felt had she been born two years earlier her life would have been extremely “different”.
The TV star said: “I was born during the year of Brown vs Board of Education, so because of that I never ever sat a day in a segregated school.
“Do you know the difference that could have made in the way I thought and felt about myself?”
Oprah Winfrey revealed she had experience ‘racism’ throughout her life in candid confessions
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Despite this, the star revealed she had experienced several racist interactions during her life.
Oprah dismissed the “nitwits” on Twitter who “used the N-word” and stated: “Nobody’s going to do that to my face.”
However, she recalled experiencing a “clearly racist” incident when a clothing store in France refused to let her in.
Oprah had spotted a sweater she liked in the window of a shop, on Madison Avenue, in Rennes, and tried to walk into the shop.
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In 2013, she recounted the experience on Larry King Now: “They wouldn’t open the door.
“And I am not the person who pulls the race card, so I am just like, ‘Wow, I wonder what… do they see us out here?’
“We went across the street… and we called to say ‘Are you open?’, [they replied] ‘Yes, we’re open’. [Oprah said], ‘Ok, coming over!’
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The Oprah Winfrey Show first aired in 1986 – she was a TV reporter before
“We just crossed the street and they didn’t let us in.”
When Oprah saw “two white women go in the store”, it “suddenly dawned on” her that it was “a racist moment”.
In another incident, the TV star – who is worth £1.9billion ($2.7billion) today, according to Forbes – was told she could not afford an item.
Oprah was in Zurich, Switzerland, for Tina Turner’s wedding to Erwin Bach in 2013.
Oprah Winfrey attended Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding in 2018
She went into a “name brand store” and asked to see a bag she liked on the top shelf.
Oprah recalled: “And she said, ‘No… that one’s too expensive, I’ll show you this one’.
“She did and she proceeded to tell me about this bag and how it was created for Jennifer Aniston… and ‘You should want this one’.
“I said, ‘But I really want to see the black one there’ – I think it was lizard or alligator [and] I’m sure it was expensive.
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“She said, ‘No, no, no, no, no, you don’t want to see that.’”
Oprah believed the saleswoman thought she could not afford the bag due to the colour of her skin.
Mr King, who sadly passed away last month from sepsis, asked her: “How did it make you feel?
Oprah replied: “I wanted to laugh at her. I wanted to create a Pretty Woman moment – go out and come back and buy everything and say, ‘Big mistake!’
Oprah Winfrey admitted she nearly had a ‘Pretty Woman moment’ in France
“But then I thought, ‘She will get commission so let’s not do that.’”
Despite Oprah’s frustration, she decided not to “cause a scene” and take a personal victory instead.
She recalled: “It was funny in that store when the woman said, ‘No, you can’t afford this’.
“But finally, instead of causing a scene – ‘You have no idea, you know I could…’ – I just said, ‘You know, you’re probably right, you’re probably right’.
Pretty Woman was a 1990 romantic-comedy starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere
“I turned and walked out of the store.”
Oprah knew she would have been able to afford the bag and described her wealth as “luxury beyond whatever everybody thinks it really is”.
She added: “I won’t be one of those people who says, ‘Money doesn’t matter’ [because] it is amazing.”
Oprah With Meghan and Harry will air on Sunday, March 7, in the US and at 9pm Monday on ITV in the UK.