NEW YORK – Media mogul Oprah Winfrey (search) addressed publicly for the first time Monday the highly publicized incident at the Paris Hermes (search) boutique where she was allegedly snubbed by employees.
In front of her television audience, Oprah held up a stack of tabloid reports of the incident and said that they were almost all completely false.
Winfrey emphatically rejected the widely circulated-theory that her beef with the store was rooted in their refusal to re-open it for her. She went on to say that she was smart enough to be able to tell the difference between a store being closed and a store being closed to her.
Recounting the incident, she said that the store was in the process of closing, but that there was still a bustle of business inside.
According to Oprah, one "rude" employee caused the ruckus by making her and some of her friends wait in the entrance of the store for permission to enter.
Oprah took special care to say that her anger at the situation was directed at the female employee and not at the Hermes company.
To wrap up all of the speculation over the incident, the president of the U.S. division of Hermes appeared on the show.
He offered a hearty apology for the actions of the impolite employee, saying, "Honestly, she did not know who you were."
In response, Oprah thanked him for his "heartfelt" apology and said she "was not trying to play that celebrity card."
She closed the subject by encouraging fans who had been boycotting Hermes' famous Birkin bag to "wear" the bag if they wanted to.