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
Oprah and her producers are shooting a “docuseries” (read: reality show) for OWN follows Lindsay Lohan around as she starts her recovery process. Yeah, great idea, Oprah. How to better recover than to give an attention starved mess a camera crew following her at all times. And for $2 million. Smart.
From Daily News via TMZ:
The Oprah-helmed project featuring the embattled actress, 27, is set to be strictly about Lohan’s recovery and attempts to resuscitate her acting career…In fact, OWN producers are doing everything possible to keep the “Canyons” star’s parents — headline mainstays Michael and Dina Lohan — as far away from the cameras as possible.
According to the gossip site, an “executive decision” was made to ban them from the show. There won’t even be a mention of Dina Lohan’s recent DWI arrest, show sources say.
Good. Now just cancel the entire show and we’re set.
September 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm by Catherine St. Ives
Oprah kicked Lindsay Lohan‘s ass — metaphorically, of course. Oprah made the hilarious decisions to give Lohan a “docuseries” and an interview and pay her $2 million for the whole shebang. Apparently Lohan was up to her usual tricks of not showing up on time and flaking. Oprah was having none of that shit. From TMZ, my favorite Lohan story providers:
Lindsay was a disaster at the beginning of the project — at times just being a no-show — which doesn’t work in Oprah’s world. We’re told Oprah went to Dina’s house on Long Island for a showdown with Lindsay. She told Lindsay either clean up her act or the project is over and Lindsay would not get her $2 million paycheck.
Our sources say Lindsay had a bunch of excuses … she was spending time trying to find an apartment in NYC, she had other projects she was trying to finish, there were “miscommunications” between her people and the folks at OWN, yada yada.
[...] We’re told Lindsay is now cooperating and things have been running okay for nearly a month, but Oprah is still watching Lindsay like a hawk.
There’s an old saying Dr. Phil was rather fond of: “How can you tell an addict is lying? When their lips are moving.” It’s sad but I’ve found that it’s true. And Lohan proves that it doesn’t matter how much money or how much fame you have. Addiction can hit anyone.
That being said, get your shit together, Lindsay. And Oprah, make better decisions. Come on now.
September 26, 2013 at 5:30 pm by Catherine St. Ives
Hey, just kidding!!! Oprah would never be afraid of one William Joel. No, Oprah’s big fear is BALLOONS!
Not kidding this time, promise. Here’s what she said in O (via People):
I don’t like balloons, and for my 40th birthday my entire staff decided to surprise me. I come downstairs and the entire audience is filled with balloons. Literally, I’m stepping over balloons, having to walk through balloons and I’m so, like, ‘Oh! When is one going to pop?’ It reminds me of gunfire. [Being around them] really freaks me out.
You know what? I agree with Oprah on this one. Balloons are f-cking terrifying. The following image is NSFO (Not Safe For Oprah).
September 11, 2013 at 4:30 am by Catherine St. Ives
Lindsay Lohan sat down with Oprah and told her she checked into rehab for the very first time because she used Ambien and it scared her (to which Oprah gave the most skeptical look ever and tried get more of an explanation and gave up) and also that she did cocaine “Ten to fifteen times” to which everyone torrenting this mess laughed mightily. I guess a lot of people at this point are fed up with Lohan, because the interview was one of Oprah’s lowest rated interviews, ever. Some stats from The Hollywood Reporter via The Superficial:
The one-hour OWN broadcast averaged 892,000 viewers to the 9 p.m. premiere telecast. The 10 p.m. encore averaged 504,000 viewers.
Now let’s compare that to
Winfrey’s Oprah’s Next Chapter sit-down with Whitney Houston’s family in March 2012 is still OWN’s most-watched effort for the network, drawing 3.5 million viewers. The first part of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong’s January interview with Winfrey is close behind with a strong 3.2 million. Third is Rihanna’s interview with the talk show maven in August 2012, which averaged 2.5 million.
Let’s hope the “docu-series” they’re doing together gets better ratings. Or not, screw them.
August 22, 2013 at 5:30 am by Catherine St. Ives
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.