Lee Ryan appears in court over alleged drunk flight behaviour


Lee Ryan told a black flight attendant "I want your chocolate children" while drunk on a plane, a court has heard.
The Blue singer was "slurring his words and staggering around" after drinking a whole bottle of port before boarding a delayed British Airways flight from Glasgow to London on 31 July last year, but was refused more alcohol once on board.
The 39-year-old star - who is accused of being drunk on an aircraft, assaulting a police officer, racially aggravated common assault by beating and behaving in an abusive way towards the cabin crew member - allegedly called the woman a "chocolate cookie" and grabbed her wrists after being denied more booze.
Giving evidence on Thursday (12.01.23), the flight attendant told Ealing Magistrates' Court: "He was making comments about my complexion, you're my chocolate darling, my chocolate cookie, and I'm going to have your chocolate children.
"It felt like he was saying I was beautiful for a black person because of the way he was describing my colour."
She told him to "stay away" when he later approached her from behind and said: "Before I get off this plane I need a kiss from you."
She claimed he then grabbed her wrists before passengers intervened.
She added: "He was towering over me, like he was leaning in to give me a kiss.
"He said to me 'I want your chocolate children.' I was intimidated, I felt a bit embarrassed like I wasn't doing my duty properly.
"To get comments about my colour whether intentional or not, it was just unacceptable and so derogatory.
"I just felt like it wasn't fair and I shouldn't have to put up with it.
"I don't go to work to be assaulted or harassed."
The tearful singer told the court he had been "annoying" the passenger next to him by asking about the book he was reading, but had no recollection of anything after that.
He added: "I'm sorry.
"My band member is black, I'm not racist, I've had black girlfriends, mixed-race girlfriends.
"It was banter, just drunk banter I suppose, there was no malice or intention to upset anyone.
"I didn't mean to cause any distress to anyone or be racist, it was just a poor choice of words I suppose."
The 'All Rise' singer maintained his actions were "playful" and denied being racist with the use of chocolate.
Claiming he said "chocolate chip cookie", he added: "They're white, there was no malice in them.
"I am sorry that I touched her, but that's all I did, touch her lightly, by her admission."
Lee also expressed his remorse in an interview with police, which was read to the court.
He said: "I wish I could ring her up and apologise and offer her some Blue tickets for the next tour."
Police claimed he tried to bite one of the officers when he was arrested at London City airport, but Lee said he didn't "remember".
The trial continues.