Planes: the famous person’s natural enemy. What is about cruising at 30,000 feet that makes celebrities want to get rip-roaring drunk, start a screaming match and/or pee on the floor? Is it the change in air pressure? The overwhelming number of options in SkyMall? Or, are celebs always doing crazy stuff and a plane is just the one place where their P.R. team can’t hustle them away when things go south? Big & Rich’s John Rich was yanked from a Southwest flight yesterday after the singer started a drunken argument with fellow passengers before boarding, and remained too visibly inebriated to fly once on the plane. “Our crew assessed the situation and determined that the passenger was not fit for travel under governing federal aviation regulations,” Southwest’s rep says in a statement. Did we mention the flight was at 10:50 a.m.? Just to remind John that he’s in good company, here are seven of our favorite celebrities vs. plane stories, in order of increasing insanity:
7) Brooke Mueller: News that Charlie Sheen’s former spouse got removed (or removed herself) from a flight from L.A. to Cancun this past summer, after flight attendants refused to let her use the bathroom during takeoff, is sadly one of the more normal things we’ve heard that Brooke has done this year.
What is it with celebrities and getting belligerently drunk on planes? Just sit down and watch eight episodes of Grounded for Life like the rest of us. The advice comes a little too late for Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who faces a lawsuit over a drunken airport rant. United Airlines employee Kathryn Williams alleges that the Tutors star “assaulted, battered and verbally abused her after being barred from stepping on an early morning flight” last May. While the original story mentioned Rhys Meyers shouting the n-word in the airport, no mention was made of physical assault. That being said, Jonathan punched a Parisian airport employee in 2009. So, if you needed another reason to pull the emergency slide once you see the B-list British actor staggering down the aisle toward you, now you have it.
Williams is seeking more than $15,000 and claims that “The defendant committed tortuous acts consisting of verbally and physically abusing plaintiff causing her to sustain physical injuries and severe emotional distress,” leaving Williams unable to do her job. The actor is currelty banned from United Airlines. Rhys Meyers attended rehab immediately after the incident, though it was not his first stint in treatment. We hope Jonathan’s last trip helped; if not, soon he’ll be renting a jet-ski to get to press junkets.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Sometime it’s a fine line between bad boy and douchebag, but that line was erased yesterday when Josh Duhamel got kicked off a plane for refusing to shut off his BlackBerry. According to sources, Duhamel was “very rude”, “taunting the attendant” after being asked three times to shut off his phone for take-off. See, we were always under the impression that having a cell phone on would make the plane plummet out of the sky. Hmmm, or maybe that’s just something we saw in Soul Plane…
The flight already delayed, other passengers had to spend even more time flipping through SkyMall as the pilot returned the plane to the gate and two officers escorted Duhamel off the flight. Fergie’s husband was reportedly on his way from New York’s LaGuardia airport to Kentucky when he decided to act the fool. According to Josh’s rep, the Transformers star was texting about his flight being delayed and that “He’s sorry.” We’d be sorry too, if we ended up on a 12-hour bus ride to Louisville. [Photo: Splash News Online]
Warning: do not read this if you are planning to fly this week for Thanksgiving. If you don’t heed our warning, be ready to drop some serious change on a fifteen-hour train ride or leisurely boat trip back to your parents’ house, because word has it that Leo DiCaprio’s plane engine failed, putting the actor and his fellow passengers at risk of crashing. Oh wow, is this what the floor looks like close up? Who knew it was this dirty under our desk?
In a story that makes us literally weak in the knees (and not due to Leo’s quiet masculine charisma), reportedly DiCaprio was on a Delta flight leaving New York’s JFK airport for Moscow when unexpected engine failure required the plane turn around and land in New York. Says his rep, DiCaprio “wishes to commend the actions of the pilot and flight crew in bringing the plane to a safe landing,” just as soon as they can get him to stop hiding in the overhead luggage compartment.
Apparently the Inception star was headed to the Russian Tiger Summit, a four-day conference on tiger extinction headed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Hmmm…if we could have pictured anything cuter than future Great Gatsby co-star Carey Mulligan standing next to DiCaprio, tigers would have to be it. After the plane safely touched down,”Leo signed autographs for all the crew members when they landed,” which is a lot classier than what we would have done: screamed, deployed the emergency slide and thrown up all over the tarmac. [Photo: Getty Images]
We’ll say it: we’re worried about the Bieber. The sudden mega-fame has got to wear on the 16-year-old Justin Bieber, and those close to him say the strain is starting to show. Tired of the unwanted attention he receives while renting private jets, Biebs is reportedly in the market for a personal plane of his own.
Insiders told the Chicago Sun-Times that the teen sensation “hates it when other…people approach him at the terminal and ask for autographs or photos. He is now shopping for his own private plane. Likely a G-4.” For those of you who aren’t plane buffs, a G-4, also called a Gulfstream IV, is a 20-seat private jet used extensively in the military. It’s the perfect vehicle for Bieber to control his teen empire from the air! But it’ll set him back a bit. Reportedly the G-4′s go for upwards of $38 million.
“Justin has really become a lot to handle,” the source continued. “He really has become paranoid about being protected from fans or just about anyone else he doesn’t know. He’s become terribly jumpy and is constantly snapping at everyone around him.” It makes a lot of sense considering his recent incident at an arcade. He wasn’t like he was out doing lines of blow in some club; he just wanted to play some lazer tag. You know, like a kid. Let’s hope the plane privacy does the trick and he doesn’t go all Howard Hughes on us.
[Photo: Getty Images]