Victoria Osteen Trial – Day 2

Who is smiling now?  Certainly not Joel!

In Houston the trial continued, and very different versions of the incident were described … under oath.

A flight attendant says she witnessed the wife of evangelical pastor Joel Osteen throw a tantrum when she didn’t get her way after a small spill on her seat wasn’t quickly cleaned.  Continental Airlines flight attendant Maria Johnson testified Thursday that Victoria Osteen demanded special attention to clean a spill about the size of a 50-cent piece on her first-class seat. When she didn’t get her way, Victoria Osteen became verbally and physically abusive to both flight attendants, eventually grabbing Brown by the shoulders, elbowing her in the chest and pushing her out of the way in an attempt to get into the cockpit, Johnson testified.

Sounds like this behavior would delay a plane, cause the person to be removed from the flight, delay takeoff by 2 1/2 hours and assessed a $3000 fine.

Brown’s psychiatrist, Shayna Lee, testified that Brown has suffered depression and post-traumatic stress disorder because of the incident. She also felt disrespected in her role as a leader and as a black woman and had her faith affected, Lee said.

Again, as I’ve said before, I rather doubt this incident caused all these terrible things for Brown, but “she also felt disrespected, and as I’ve said before, I think this lawsuit is as much about Brown attempting to regain some dignity after being treated like an inferior.

Victoria Osteen’s attorney says his client simply got into a verbal dispute with a couple of flight attendants who were lacking when it came to customer service.

There is a time and place for “customer service”.  Watching the boarding of an airplane, a dollop of “water” generally won’t command my full attention.  Someone throwing a tantrum will!

And then, Joel Osteen testified.

Renowned evangelical pastor Joel Osteen told jurors Friday that his wife never assaulted a flight attendant over a small spill on her airplane seat. During nearly two hours of testimony, Joel Osteen, who was on the same flight, said the incident was “an unfortunate misunderstanding” stemming from his wife’s requests for flight attendants to clean up a spill on the armrest of her first-class seat.  “We would never disrespect authority or disrespect (Brown). There’s no way in the world,” Victoria Osteen assaulted Brown, said Joel Osteen, who was called to the witness stand by Brown’s attorney, Reginald McKamie. But Joel Osteen said his wife never raised her voice or grabbed the flight attendants. However, later he admitted to McKamie that he could not hear his wife’s voice from his seat.  Joel Osteen testified he and his family left the plane voluntarily, rather than being removed from the plane.  Joel Osteen said his wife did not want to pay the $3000 fine imposed by the FAA for interfering with a crew member but he convinced her to do so because he thought it would be a way to put the incident behind them even though they felt they did nothing wrong.

So, if we believe Joel Osteen (under oath), then where is the behavior that would have them leave the plane, delay the flight, and be fined?

Cynical comment warning: I suppose they weren’t removed from the plane if they left under their own power!

The more I hear this testimony, the more I’m convinced that Victoria Osteen really exerted her “privilege” and loudly “disrespected” this flight attendant.  That’s too bad.

Pondering Pastor

Day 3 is here


10 responses to “Victoria Osteen Trial – Day 2

  1. Another question pastor ponderer, where’s the witnesses? Besides Mrs. Johnson’s obvious sidekick, the other attendant. What do the passengers say? And why on earth would she ever rush the cockpit after 9/11? Just think more before you post on your blog, because people do read it. I’m by no means defending either party, as i was not there, and didn’t see the, “Napkin Exchange.” Nor was I unable to see a pastor such as yourself charge an airplane cockpit. Nor was I able to hear myself the attitude the attendant may or may not have given her. We were not there, and 2% of the testimony and entire court hearing is out on the internet. So basically all one should blog about is…well…you can look at a chicken for days and nights…but in the end…it’s still that chicken.

  2. I can’t comment on who is right and who is wrong, I’ll let the jury decide that. I will say that as a working flight attendant, first class passengers pay a lot of money for those seats and they expect and deserve the attention and service. I’ve been in the similar situation as Ms. Brown, A customer asked for me to clean up a spill. I simply stopped what I was doing, got a napkin, cleaned the spill, smiled, and made sure everything was OK. Some 1st class passengers can be a real pain in the bottom, but we only have to put up with them for a few hours then bid them farewell and hope we never have them again. The fault I can see in this trial is that Ms. Brown should have just cleaned up the spill, end of story – Oh, but then I guess she couldn’t sue for millions because of her hemorrhoids!

  3. It’s really pretty ridiculous to just assume Mrs. Osteen is wrong and the stewardess is right. This seems like a money grab situation to me. Mrs. Osteen’s character is not consistant with the accusations by the stewardess. Certainly Joel Osteen has much more credibility than this woman accuser. I think this is nothing more than someone who is trying to discredit the Osteen’s for some unknown reason and get some money in the process. If she wasn’t seeking so much in “damages” she’d be much more believable. Hemorrhoids? What? Considering that Continental Airlines appologized to Mrs. Osteen, something smells!

  4. I’m just waiting for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to show up and say that Mrs. Osteen is a racist. How is it that there is any doubt at all that this is all about money when the flight attendant is asking for 10 percent of Mrs. Osteen’s net worth? Was she permanently disabled by this encounter? Was the attendant left unable to work again? If I was on that jury, I’d give the flight attendant enough money to purchase some preparation H and send her on her way.

  5. Yes, she is a racist. She feels that because her husbands gets thousand of people to send him money to ‘preach’ that she can treat minorities any way she wants. It’s very, very sad.

  6. Mark, I’ve never, ever heard Joel Osteen ask for money. And the flight attendant should be ashamed of herself for playing the race card to try to get money. God is no respecter of persons, and she was shown in front of the whole world to be a liar and a cheat.

  7. I think this was an important verdict and I think that judge used good judgment. I also think it is possible that Mrs. Osteen was a bit “grouchy,” and certainly someone in her church position should not act this way. However, I don’t think this was a racial issue nor do I think it even came close to an assault of any kind. I think it is obvious that Brown was over sensitive and also a scam artist. At the very most (and IMHO, this would have been EXTREME…the court may have asked Mrs. Osteen to pay for sensitivity classes for herself…but I don’t know if that would be possible w/o finding her culpable. Good grief…our society would be upside down if folks sued each other every time someone was grouchy to them at work. It would be chaotic and our nation would be bankrupt. In addition, I’m not liking how folks are making fun of Mrs. Osteen. This is bias…a form of racism. What difference does it make what her social class is? What she looks like? What religion she is? Some don’t like the religion/church/tv show of her and her husband. So what. Does anyone recall that our nation was formed based on free speech and free religion? Their church helps lots of folks and I say, leave it at that. I think we need to be grateful for this verdict, not only because it was fair…but because our lives would be very stressful indeed if people could make up stories about us in the workforce or in public and try to sue us for all or much of our net worth.

  8. I fly on Continental Airlines for years and I had a lot very nice fly attendants. I also had some fly attendants really should not be there. If you ever ask anything, they will simply say I will get to you later and totally ignore you. Or if you dare to ask the same person again, you will get her to roll her eyes. I wish Continental Airlines will have some customer service training for their fly attendants. Also, I hope Ms. Brown will find another line of job; definitely should not have any contact with customers.

  9. We need to trust in God’s mercy..

  10. Rev.Dr.Kim Vaiphei

    I travelled many parts of the world, six continents and I know well what it means to be on the plane. Every passenger has every right for every need. When Victoria asked the attendant to clean, they have to do it fast with apology. Why they have to fine USD$3000? I am sorry for whole episode. One strong reason is that the highly use of God are highly targetted by Satan through his human agencies. Let us pray for the Osteen’s and let us not allow ourselves to lose our confidence in them even with a slightest dot.
    Rev.Dr. Kim Vaiphei

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