Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images
All My Children alum Jennifer Bassey was removed from a Delta Air Lines flight by police this week after getting into a profanity-laced confrontation with a flight attendant before the plane ever took off.
The 72-year-old actress told E! News that the ordeal was "undignified, embarrassing and beyond stressful." A rep for Delta confirmed the actress was removed from the flight, operated by subsidiary Endeavor Air, and said the airline is currently investigating the incident, which took place on Tuesday at JFK Airport in New York City. Police had no immediate comment.
Bassey, who played Marian Colby on the now-defunct soap opera for more than 25 years, was flying to Indianapolis to visit her boyfriend and his family. While the plane was still on the tarmac, delayed about an hour, she used one of its restrooms and did not wash her hands. The actress told E! News that she prefers Purell over the provided soap.
She said she opened the door to leave and that a flight attendant then addressed her.
"She asked me loudly three times, 'Ma'am did you wash your hands?'" Bassey told E! News.
She said she told the flight attendant that she did not, but that she would be using a hand sanitizer instead. She then returned to her seat. The plane was delayed. The actress took out her laptop to prepare for an audition. She said the flight attendant she had spoken to then came over and yelled at her.
"She stood there next to me waiting for me until I put it away," Bassey told E! News.
She said the flight attendant stood over her as she put her computer away and then backed into her hand and started screaming, "Don't touch me! Don't ever touch me!"
Bassey said she responded with, "Go f--k yourself!"
She said another flight attendant then came over and told her she should not be arguing with a flight attendant and also said she had used foul language near a child. The actress told E! News that the plane then returned to the gate and that police officers escorted her off the jet.
Bassey says Delta Airlines deemed her a "risk to the carrier" and maintains she assaulted a flight attendant, which she denies.
"It was all unfortunate, but I am a senior citizen who is petite and tiny. How could I assault someone?" she said.
The actress said she spoke to police at the airport about the incident and that they laughed about it. She said she is seeking an apology from Delta and is considering legal action.
As for the first flight attendant, Bassey told E! News she isn't sure she wants the person to be fired, adding, "Maybe she was having a bad day, but if something bad is happening to you, you don't take it out on someone else."
In addition to All My Children, Bassey is also known for her guest role as Nancy Dawson on Grey's Anatomy and has also appeared in Falcon Crest, L.A. Law, 30 Rock and also played Katherine Heigl's character's aunt in the romantic comedy movie 27 Dresses.
—Additional reporting by Lindsay Good