~*~..won't you promise her smack?..~*~

Sitting in an Australian police station, Courtney penned the following letter to Qantas Airways:


I have just got off flight 627 from Brisbane to Melbourne, where I flew first class in seat 1F. I am at present being detained by Victoria police over a petty and parthetic incidend instigated by a stewardess whose name was Veronica Mahony. I found he behaviour unusual from the start. A. She pulled out everyone in first class’s dinner trays without asking them at all. B. When I refused the have dinner, she became slightly hostile for no apparent reason.

I had just spent 2 1/2 hours in the sickroom at Brisbane Airport. I have lumbar strain, sciatica and am also quite ill at the moment with a high temperature and hot chills. I put my feet up on the bulkhed wall as well as a pillow under my back. As I a regular first-class flier I usually sit in 1G isle seat -- bulkhead. And this is normal behaviour. She confronted me about this and said I was A. offending other passengers (feet on wall -- offending passengers?) and B. caused a security problem cause the wall was in front of some secure/safety “device” (it is in fact in front of catering).

I am a celebrity and at this points she noticed a magazine (Rolling Stone) on the floor which I was on the cover of. This has happened to me many, many times -- somewhere between just being a celebrity and the nature of my celebrity -- a rock singer. wever, I have not, in 28 years of flying, EVER encountered a problem in my in-flight activities nor a stewardess so shrill, nasty, and flat-out mean. Sometime people like to have altercations/confrontations with celebrities. It gives them a sense of t ir own worth -- I’m not a mind reader but from the moment she saw that magazine her attitude became increasingly nasty. The passenger next to me even commented on this.

She told me to get my feet down. I said “why?” She said the 2 things I told you. I said, “I’ve never heard of that” -- she repeated herself, “Get your feet down’ -- from the start, no “please,” no “politeness,” no pleasant way of informing me this as perhaps wrong. Just nasty and rude. I said, “NO, my back hurts and I’ve never heard of this rule.” She said (and I repeat in an extremely rude tone of voice) “Get them down or I’ll have you arrested at the airport.” I was urious and I said. “Go the fuck ahead” . . .

The next hour or so of the flight was fine. No more altercations. I removed my feet eventually as my back stopped hurting so much. When we got to Melbourne it looked as though the cavalry was there! I saw at least 6, maybe more, officials -- securit and police. I have so far been detained for over and hour and strip searched. (Fortunately the police conducting this are about 2000 times more polite than the stewardess.)

I didn’t break the law, become inebriated, become belligerent or rude except in an offhanded way to this exceptionally nasty stewardess. I am willing to BET that this will be on the Associated Press wire withing an hour. And I am also willing to bet t t it won’t come from these police but from the stewardess herself.

I have heard of drunk people smoking cigarettes and pot on planes, urinating outside of cubicles. Bad things. I PUT MY FEET UP ON THE BULK-HEAD WALL!!! and as a consequence been humiliated beyond almost any experience. Your ai ine has always been a good one. I fly my employees and band on it.

You have turned this into a “criminal matter” and in your report your stewardess outright lied, i.e. that I raised my hand as if to STRIKE HER . . . or that I locked myself in a bathroom and wouldn’t come out. These are all outright lies . . . I have been offended beyond belief.


It turned out that she had broken the law: apparently it was illegal to say “fuck” on an Australian airplane. She was released after posting bail.

Brite, Poppy Z; (1997) ‘Courtney Love: The Real Story’ Orion Books, London.