Oprah Winfrey is pretty great when it comes to charity (which makes sense since she’s so loaded) and she really outdid herself this weekend when she decided to throw a yard sale at her Santa Barbara, California home on Saturday. She managed to raise over $600,000 on a single day, so clearly this wasn’t your usual yardsale where you can pick up some paperbacks for 50 cents and a new coffee machine for $3.
Of course, because this was Oprah’s stuff, prices were way higher than they normally would have been. For example, some crystal lamp bases that were really only worth a few hundred bucks went for over $2,500. Whaaaat? Here’s more from the Los Angeles Times:
A set of six 18th century Louis XVI armchairs with hand-embroidered details elicited a winning bid of $60,000 at the sale, held at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria. But more staggering: the extent to which prices on lesser items were driven up by online bidders, in many cases fans who simply wanted something from Oprah’s house.
The auction started around 11:30 a.m. with the first two items in the sale, canvas banners promoting Winfrey in “The Color Purple,” fielding winning bids of $4,100 and $6,000. The exuberance — irrational or otherwise — built from there.
A 16-by-20-inch print of a TV Guide cover photo featuring Winfrey had a pre-auction estimate of $200 to $400 but ended up selling for $3,000. A pair of simple crystal lamp bases (no shades) estimated at $200 to $400 went for $2,500. Bidding on a painting estimated at $300 to $500 rose to $6,000, and a dog portrait generously characterized in the catalog as “folk art” went for $1,400 — about three times its estimated value. Those prices do not include the buyer’s premium, a 20% or 23% commission to the auction house paid on top of the winning bid.
A rudimentary chair that a fan painted for Oprah was estimated at only $100 to $200, yet bids rose to $1,000. A teapot worth less than $100 also sold for $1,000. One anonymous online buyer bought not one but two 13-foot-long sofas, upholstered in crushed velvet with roped fringe, with bids of $4,000 and $4,750.
The usual quick pace of a live sale dragged as Kaminski Auctions, which ran the event, fielded a relentless stream of incremental bids on practically every item. After the first two hours, the auctioneer’s gavel had fallen on just 55 of 584 lots in the sale.
Money raised from the event will go to her girls’ leadership academy in Africa – and that’s a nice chunk of money, wouldn’t you say?
November 4, 2013 at 11:30 am by Jennifer
Right, so we all remember how Oprah got Pretty Woman-ed in Switzerland earlier this month when she was repeatedly refused to see a purse she wanted to buy since the shop owner assumed she had no money, right? While the Swiss tourism board has gone so far as to offer a formal apology for the incident, the shop worker responsible for the behaviour denied it ever happened. Meanwhile, Oprah herself is just sorta mortified it’s all gone this far.
The anonymous shop worker’s statement to SonntagsBlick (because people who have done nothing wrong totally hide beyond anonymity):
“I wasn’t sure what I should present to her when she came in on the afternoon of Saturday, July 20, so I showed her some bags from the Jennifer Aniston collection.
“I explained to her the bags came in different sizes and materials, like I always do. She looked at a frame behind me. Far above there was the 35,000 Swiss franc crocodile leather bag.
“I simply told her that it was like the one I held in my hand, only much more expensive, and that I could show her similar bags. It is absolutely not true that I declined to show her the bag on racist grounds. I even asked her if she wanted to look at the bag.”
“This is not true. This is absurd. I would never say something like that to a customer. Really never. Good manners and politeness are the alpha and the omega in this business. I don’t know why she is making these accusations. She is so powerful, and I am just a shop girl. I didn’t hurt anyone. I don’t know why someone as great as her must cannibalise me on TV. If it had all taken place as she claimed, why hadn’t she complained to my boss the next day at Tina Turner’s wedding? She was there also at the Turner wedding as a guest.”
I dunno, I kinda don’t buy it. Maybe it was an innocent mistake, but the issue here is that when you’ve lived your whole life being discriminated against because of the colour of your skin, it doesn’t take much to provoke that defensive reaction, especially when you’ve been working your whole life to escape the limitations that come along with it.
Oprah’s statement to BBC News:
“I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland. I’m really sorry that it got blown up. I purposely did not mention the name of the store. I’m sorry that I said it was Switzerland.
“I was just referencing it as an example of being in a place where people don’t expect that you would be able to be there. For me, racism doesn’t show up. Nobody’s going to come and call me the N-word to my face, unless they’re a thug on Twitter or Facebook. I was just saying it shows up for me differently. I’m in a store and the person doesn’t obviously know that I carry the black card, and so they make an assessment based upon the way I look and who I am.”
She then joked that she’ll go out of her way to avoid similar situations in the future, saying:
“I cleaned up! I washed my hair and put on my Donna Karan skirt, because I know these people in stores can be very snooty pooty. So I thought, ‘Let me dress so I don’t get turned away’, and it happened anyway. So I guess I didn’t dress up enough.And I didn’t have anything that said, ‘I have money’. I wasn’t wearing a diamond stud, I didn’t have a pocketbook, I didn’t wear a Louis Vuitton shoe. I didn’t have anything – I just had a Donna Karan skirt, a top, and some sandals. You should be able to go in a store looking whatever you look like, and say, ‘I want to see this’. That didn’t happen.”
I also feel like it’s kinda bullshit that Oprah has to apologise for being put out by racism – even if it only felt like racism to her and that wasn’t the woman’s intention. Sure, the shop girl doesn’t need to be vilified, but I just feel like now she has to backtrack and feel bad about the fact that she was the one who was treated wrongly, just because some white people are up in arms now. I don’t know, this all makes my brain hurt.
August 14, 2013 at 4:30 am by Jennifer
Listen, I know that Oprah is an American superstar, but I also assume she has a level of fame that would mean she’d be recognized around the world – at least in major cities in the developed world. Apparently Zurich, Switzerland didn’t get the message, since Oprah was in the country for Tina Turner’s wedding (LOL) and decided to do a little shopping. However, things went downhill when a shop assistant repeatedly refused to show O a bag she wanted because she thought she couldn’t afford it. Whaaaaat? Oprah’s made more money last month than that shop assistant will in the next 20 years, so… no.
The shop owner later claimed it was a “misunderstanding” on the salesperson’s part, but fuck that. Oprah’s calling bullshit, as well, and feels as though the incident happened because of her race. Sad, but probably true. If Oprah was white, the assumption probably would have been that of COURSE she could afford it because white people are far more likely to be able to afford luxury. I can’t even get into this one.
Anyway, now the Swiss Tourism Board has decided to speak up and offer an apology (via WENN):
The press release reads: “Switzerland Tourism is deeply sorry to learn about the experience Ms. Winfrey recently had in Switzerland, and we apologize that her feelings were hurt. We would like to assure Ms. Winfrey – like any visitor to Switzerland – that she is welcome with open arms.”
Tourism reps also reached out to Winfrey directly via Twitter.com, adding, “We are fuming – this person acted terribly wrong. We are sorry this happened to @oprah.”
Something tells me she may not head back to the country anytime soon.
August 11, 2013 at 12:30 pm by Jennifer
Oprah Winfrey has had to put up with some serious bullshit in life, the latest being her Color Purple co-star Rae Dawn Chong calling her a “house nigger” and basically completely trashing her for no reason. No one cares about Rae Dawn Chong, but Oprah was affected enough by the incident to speak out on it in a new interview with Parade:
You cannot be my friend and use that word around me. It shows my age, but I feel strongly about it. … I always think of the millions of people who heard that as their last word as they were hanging from a tree.
Yeah, I would say that’s about right. I am not nearly Oprah’s age, nor am I black, but I also won’t have people using that word around me. It just shows ignorance and close-mindedness, etc. Anyway, I don’t think she needs to be worried about Rae Dawn, considering I’d never even heard her name before now. Just tell her you’re sorry you can’t hear her over all your money and success, girl.
August 1, 2013 at 7:30 am by Jennifer
Oprah is the queen of everything, basically, and she’s rich enough to buy the whole planet about 60 times over and still have money left over. Of course, since ending The Oprah Winfrey Show a few years ago and launching that shitshow of a network, O, she’s sunk quite a bit of cash into a project that hasn’t offered much (read: any) return, so you’d think her fortune had gone down a bit, right? WRONG.
Oprah’s still raking it in, and has been voted atop the Forbes Most Powerful Celebrity list after making $77 million – yes, that’s million – between June 2012 and June 2013. The year before that, she made $165 million. Whaaaat? I mean, damn, can Oprah cut me a check? Also, apparently her network could actually turn a profit by the end of this year. Shit’s getting crazy!
Lady GaGa is second on the list and Steven Spielberg is third, thanks to Lincoln. Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Madonna, Bon Jovi (WHUT!), Roger Federer and Justin Bieber round out the top ten. Check out the full list over at Forbes.
June 27, 2013 at 4:30 am by Jennifer
LaToya Jackson is trying to cash in on Michael Jackson‘s death by, well, cashing in on his kids and getting them on TV. Here’s the deal: LaToya signed all three – Prince, Blanket and Paris – to the Ja-Tail Enterprises talent agency, which totally isn’t even a real thing and has no other clients. Since starting this venture, she’s put them right out on the ho stroll. Paris has been signed up to a movie that’ll start shooting over the summer and Prince is a new corespondent for Entertainment Tonight and will also appear on 90210, though I’d rather be unemployed than be part of that disaster.
If all that wasn’t enough, it’s now claimed that LaToya is trying to secure a six-figure deal for the kids to appear in their own reality show, and Oprah Winfrey may be the highest bidder. Make it stop.
From The New York Post:
The coup de grâce for La Toya, who gets a standard 15 percent commission on each deal, would be a reality TV show deal she’s negotiating. Insiders said bidding has approached $10 million.
OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s network, is thought to be the front-runner to land the series that would feature Jacko’s children, La Toya and cameos by family matriarch Katherine.
“Toya’s working it. It’s because [Katherine] can’t say no to her,” one person close to the family said.
She was able to use the sympathy card because most of her siblings were legally barred from the mansion following the videotaped fight between Paris and her aunt Janet, the failed coup on Jacko’s will and the alleged kidnapping of Katherine.
“She pounced while everyone else was making a lot of useless noise. It was her smoke screen, and she got it done,” the insider said.
“She told them how she knew [Michael] better than anybody else, and she knew he’d want them to follow their dreams; and because they were his children, they could be media and entertainment moguls.
“She had a blueprint. She sold it, and they bought it.”
This bitch. Michael’s probably rolling in his grave for a number of reasons, this probably being the least of them, but whatever. His whole family has gone buckwild since he passed away and everyone is trying to cash in on these kids in any way possible, which is a shame. Here’s hoping they manage to find some sense of normality and don’t end up going down the same path that put their father in an early grave.