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Oprah Winfrey Describes The Time Snooty Shop Worker Refused To Sell Her A Handbag.

It’s hard to believe, but in some parts of the world, they don’t know who Oprah Winfrey is.

The global mega-star is so omnipresent in our American culture that it’s hard to fathom that she could be anonymous anywhere, but a newly resurfaced YouTube clip proves otherwise. The video was taken from “The Oprah Winfrey Show” back in the early 2000s, and in it, Oprah tells her audience about the time she went to Rome and a shop worker refuse to sell her a handbag.


Oprah was visiting Italy with her best friend Gayle King, her friend and makeup artist Reggie Wells, and Gayle’s then-17-year-old daughter Kirby Bumpus. Since she was about to graduate from high school, Oprah (who is also Kirby’s godmother) took her into high-end designer shop Louis Vuitton and told her she could pick out anything she wanted as a gift.

Best godmother ever!


Unfortunately, the bag Kirby selected did not meet some unknown criteria for sale, according to the shop clerk. In her best faux Italian accent, Oprah imitated the haughty way the sales clerk informed the group that “this bag cannot be sold, it’s impossible for this bag to be sold.”

louis vuitton store

Oprah’s audience was aghast to hear that anybody would deny her of anything, much less a bag in a shop that was, ostensibly, for sale.

Oprah Winfrey can't buy purse in Rome

“This bag is only for the Italian people,” the snobby clerk went on. “It’s only for the Italian people, and perhaps you can go to your own country and you can find a bag in your country.”


“What kind of bull is that?” Oprah asks incredulously, and we have to agree with her!

“They obviously don’t get the Oprah show over here,” Gayle muttered to Oprah under her breath.

After much haggling, and the introduction of their Italian guide to the scene, the clerk finally deigned to sell Oprah the purse… only to have Kirby change her mind about which purse she wanted!

Wikimedia Commons

The story has a happy ending, but it’s a funny example of how life has a way of smacking us with a reality check when we start to think we’re hot stuff. Even Oprah sometimes gets rejected and has to pull the “do you know who I am” card!

Watch Oprah tell the whole story below, and be sure to share this funny story with your friends!

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