Oprah ‘sorry’ for Switzerland’s flap

LOS ANGELES — Oprah Winfrey says she’s “sorry” that a media frenzy emerged after saying she experienced racism during a trip to Switzerland.

“I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland. I’m really sorry that it got blown up. I purposefully did not mention the name of the store. I’m sorry that I said it was Switzerland,” Winfrey said Monday night at the Los Angeles premiere of “Lee Daniels: The Butler.”

In recent interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” Winfrey recalled a clerk at an upscale Zurich boutique refusing to show her a handbag. Winfrey said she was told she could not afford the $38,000 purse.

Swiss tourism officials and the boutique owner apologized for the incident last week, but Winfrey insists there’s no need.

“It’s not an indictment against the country or even that store,” she continued. “It was just one person who didn’t want to offer me the opportunity to see the bag. So no apologies necessary from the country of Switzerland. If somebody makes a mistake in the United States do we apologize in front of the whole country? No!”

Last season opener of ‘Breaking Bad’ big hit

NEW YORK — The return of “Breaking Bad” for the start of its final eight episodes Sunday reached nearly double the biggest audience the show had ever had for an episode.

The Nielsen ratings company said that 5.9 million people watched Sunday’s episode, which featured a gripping confrontation between star Bryan Cranston’s Walter White character and the brother-in-law who had suddenly realized White was the drug kingpin he had been searching for. The Emmy Award-winning series, which began in 2008 on AMC, ends in September.

Katy Perry to perform new single on VMAs

NEW YORK — Katy Perry is returning to the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Perry will sing her new song, “Roar,” live for the first time. She hasn’t performed at the VMAs since 2009.

The VMAs will air live from Brooklyn on Aug. 25. Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead the nominations with six apiece and Bruno Mars is next at four.

“Roar,” released Monday, is the first single from Perry’s new album, “PRISM,” due out Oct. 22. Perry is a four-time VMA winner, including top honor video of the year for “Firework.”

Carole King musical will star Jessie Mueller

NEW YORK — Jessie Mueller has nabbed a beautiful Broadway role: She’ll be playing celebrated songwriter Carole King in a new musical about the woman who wrote such hits as “It’s Too Late” and “You’ve Got a Friend.”

Producers said this week that Mueller, who was last on Broadway opposite Matthew Broderick in “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” will lead “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” which starts previews Nov. 21 at the Steven Sondheim Theatre.

The new musical is written by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Douglas McGrath.

Museum hopes to buy Austen ring from singer

LONDON — A Jane Austen museum said Monday it has received $155,000 from an anonymous benefactor to help it buy the writer’s ring back from singer Kelly Clarkson.

Earlier this month, the British government placed a temporary export ban on the gold-and-turquoise ring in the hope that money could be found to keep it in Britain.

The Jane Austen’s House museum said it had raised about $160,000 of the approximate $236,000 asking price since launching a fundraising campaign last week, most of it from a single anonymous donation.

The museum has until December to raise the rest of the money, and Clarkson has agreed to sell the ring should a buyer come forward.

Wire reports