Dave Chappelle and Other Memorable Celebrity Airplane Freak-Outs
Because celebrities are better than regular people and therefore fly a lot, it's only natural that the friendly skies are occasionally subjected to the inexplicable fame-fueled freakout.
The latest famous person to go bananas at 30,000 feet was comedian Dave Chappelle, who allegedly stormed the cabin of the private jet he was flying from New Jersey to Ohio, grabbed the pilot's arm, and demanded to know when the plane would land. Apparently, Chappelle's behavior was so outlandish that the pilot was forced to land in Pittsburgh and boot Chappelle off the plane. Pittsburgh.
Let us know pause and reflect on five other freakouts that belong in that other Mile High Club.
1. Victoria Osteen
OK, so we're pretty sure that Mrs. Joel didn't actually throw a Continental flight attendant against a bathroom door and elbow her breast, as the flight attendant alleged. But some sort of dispute occurred just before a 2005 flight from Houston for Vail, and Osteen and her husband, who apparently is some sort of preacher, left the plane voluntarily. Later on, flight attendant Susan Brown hired a lawyer whose strong suit might best be described as "comic relief" and unsuccessfully sued Osteen for millions. We were just disappointed that God wasn't called as a character witness.
2. Naomi Campbell
Unlike the Osteen Incident, there's not much mystery to what happened aboard a British Airways flight in April 2008, namely: Naomi Campbell went fucking nuts.
According to reports, the notoriously, um, sensitive supermodel became enraged when one of her bags was misplaced. When the pilot personally apologized to her, according to The Independent, she shouted at someone on her cell to "Get me another flight, get the press, get me my lawyer." She also "turned to the captain and barked: 'Bring me my fucking bags now!'"
When three bobbies came aboard to remove Campbell from the plane, a prosecutor later described, "'she went berserk, thrashing her arms around uncontrollably,'" and kicking "'in her formidable platform boots with stiletto-style heels.'" She also spat on one of the officers.
As she was dragged off the plane, according to the prosecutor, "She yelled: 'It is because I am a black woman? You are all racists. I am going to sue you. I am going to fuck you.'" She was fined and sentenced to 200 hours of community service, which no doubt allowed for plenty of introspection, thus turning her into a whole new person.
Out of time, but not out of wine
3. Peter Buck
The prosecutor in this case said the REM guitarist "became the transmogrification of Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde," on a 2001 flight from Seattle to London. Buck apparently can't handle his wine very well, but, to be fair, who among us could remain composed after 15 glasses? After such prodigious consumption, you too might become stuck between seats, mistake a stewardess cart "for a CD player" and douse yourself in yogurt.
At the trial, Buck's attorney claimed that the wine did not mix well with a sleeping pill he had taken earlier and that he could therefore not be held completely responsible for his actions. Frankly, we don't know why his defense didn't consist solely of Buck standing up and saying, "I co-wrote 'It's the End of the World as We Know It.' The defense rests." Come to think of it, it would've been even better if he said "It is because I am a black woman?"
4. Kevin Smith
Erstwhile director of good movies Kevin Smith did a little twist on the celeb-plane freakout: he tweeted his rage. The corpulent Smith was ordered off a Southwest Airlines flight after being deemed a "safety risk" for occupying only one seat. He responded by tweeting, "Dear @SouthwestAir - I know I'm fat, but was Captain Leysath really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?" To which Southwest should have replied, "Dear @ThatKevinSmith - were you justified in directing Zack and Miri Make a Porno when there is already so much suffering in the world?"
5. Clay Aiken
As everyone outside of homes for the criminally insane knows, Clay Aiken sucks. And that's why his airplane incident is notable -- for sucking. We're talking totally lame. We're talking, falling asleep with his foot on another passenger's armrest.
He explained what transpired on a 2007 flight to Tulsa to Entertainment Tonight this way: "I didn't realize I was causing the woman any distress until she woke me up with a quick hit to the chest." Because the squabble happened on a plane, the FBI got involved. We're guessing the agents were probably all excited about investigating some airplane terror and were totally bummed to find out the terror was limited to Clay Aiken's foot, and, because Clay Aiken sucks, they didn't even bother arresting him.
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