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.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,, 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.