Ralph Lauren's Niece Fined Over Air Rage
The niece of fashion designer Ralph Lauren has been fined ?2,000 (£1,650) for being drunk and abusive on a transatlantic flight.
Jennifer Lauren pushed an air hostess and swore at staff causing the Delta Air Lines plane to diverted to Shannon Airport in the west of Ireland on Monday afternoon.
The 41-year-old pleaded guilty to breaching the peace and being drunk on board the US-bound flight, when she appeared before Ennis District Court in Co Clare.
Her solicitor claimed Lauren was upset and embarrassed by her actions which she said were out of character and caused by a reaction to alcohol mixed with medication.
More than 200 passengers and crew were on board the flight from Barcelona to New York when the air rage incident took place.
The diversion cost Delta $43,158 (£26,277).
The defendant admitted being intoxicated to such an extent as would give rise to a reasonable apprehension that she might endanger herself or other persons on board the aircraft and to breaching the peace by engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour.
A third charge, of engaging in behaviour likely to cause serious offence or annoyance to any person on board the aircraft, after being asked by a crew member to stop, was withdrawn by the prosecution.
Lauren, dressed in a black jumper, burgundy velvet skirt and boots, bit her lip and looked to the ground in the dock while Garda Inspector Tom Kennedy told the packed courtroom she had been loud-mouthed, abusive and threatening on the aircraft.
He said the flight had been in the air for two hours when an air hostess noticed the defendant crying in her seat, which would not go back properly.
He said Lauren told stewardess Constance Topping to "get the **** out of my face" as she tried to help, and when told to calm down she became more abusive.
Lauren went on to push the air hostess hard, causing her to hit her back against the wall of the aircraft, the court heard.
She also swore at the hostess supervisor and a pilot on a rest break, who had intervened.
The abuse continued for more than an hour until touchdown when Lauren was arrested by gardai.
In sentencing Judge Patrick Durcan accepted Lauren's early guilty plea, but described the "very personal insults" directed at the two air hostesses and pilot "as nothing short of reprehensible".
Lauren refused to comment as she left the courthouse through a rear entrance with two friends.
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