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Last Updated: Friday, 24 June, 2005, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Paris store apologises to Oprah
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey's talk show is seen in 112 countries worldwide
Luxury French boutique Hermes has apologised to talk show host Oprah Winfrey after refusing her entry to one of their outlets in Paris.

A friend of Winfrey, who witnessed the incident, said it was "one of the most humiliating moments of her life".

Hermes said a private PR event was being prepared so it was unable to accommodate the star at the time.

A spokeswoman for the star's production company called it her "Crash" moment, referring to a race relations film.

Winfrey, 51, who was recently named the most powerful celebrity in the world by business magazine Forbes, has said she is preparing to talk about the incident on her US show.

The hugely successful TV star unsuccessfully tried to access the store after closing time, although shops are known to make special provisions for celebrities.


"People were in the store and they were shopping. Oprah was at the door and she was not allowed into the store," Winfrey's friend Gayle King told US show Entertainment Tonight.

A statement released by Hermes said: "Hermes regrets not having been able to welcome Oprah Winfrey and the people accompanying her to give them all the attention and service that Hermes is committed to giving each of its clients in the world.

Oprah Winfrey with Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley
Winfrey's show has featured guests such as the Presleys

"Hermes expresses its sincere regrets for any misunderstanding that these circumstances could have caused," it added.

Winfrey's friend Ms King said the TV presenter has no intention of shopping at Hermes again.

"Her position is 'I will shop where people appreciate my business, and I don't believe that any longer includes Hermes'," she added.

Winfrey's show attracts about 30 million viewers each week, and is believed to have generated $225m (123.6m) in revenues during the past year.

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