Did Diana Ross take her diva antics one step (or one touch) too far?

The legendary singer, who titillated the audience of this month's MTV Video Music Awards by fluffing up the exposed breast of rapper (and fellow presenter) Lil' Kim, was taken into custody today at London's Heathrow airport after allegedly copping a retaliatory feel of a female security officer, British police say.

Ross, 55, was released from custody at about 3 p.m. U.K. time. Authorities declined to press criminal charges, letting "the woman" go with a "cautionary" warning, a Scotland Yard spokeswoman said. (British law prevents police from officially confirming Ross as "the woman" arrested at Heathrow.)

The incident occurred at about 10:30 a.m. U.K. time as Ross prepared to board a Concorde flight from London to New York. The Supreme was allegedly flipped when she was submitted to government-mandated "routine security checks" (i.e., a body frisk) after setting off a metal detector, police say.

Ross accused a security officer of touching a breast (hers) during the shakedown--and, in retaliation, Ross reportedly touched the female security officer's breast right back.

"How do you like it?," Ross asked the worker, an eyewitness told Reuters.

Ross--clad in celebrity-requisite black and lilac-colored boots, per Reuters--was then spotted by reporters stomping off into the airport's VIP lounge and declaring, "I'm absolutely furious. Do you know when they search you, they actually touch your breast? It's disgraceful.

"They wouldn't touch a man's penis, would they?"

(Um, only if it were absolutely necessary?)

Ross later boarded her flight, only to be tearfully removed from the plane by police. She remained in custody for the next four to five hours.

Diva or no, Ross' reputed behavior isn't all that unusual. A British source says Hollywood-types often bristle at being held to the same airport security standards of the other passengers (i.e., the nobodies).

(ORIGINALLY POSTED at 6:15 a.m. 9/22/99)

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