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Elton John World News: Elton's band were unhappy with Love: Branson

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Virgin Atlantic boss says Courtney was "disturbed"

Sunday 16 February 2003 @ 7:37 - GMT

Before she got to strip in front of Elton on stage for the Old Vic benefit show last week (see report below) singer Courtney Love had already stolen uncharitable headlines on board a Virgin Atlantic flight. Here is the response, as published in The Sun on February 11, 2003, of the chairman of Virgin, Sir Richard Branson:

"It is insulting for her to call for the dismissal of a loyal employee one of our best in-flight attendants, said Branson.

"I have just read a six-page in-flight report.

"She was clearly a disturbed lady and wanted her psychiatric nurse to sit with her in Upper Class.

"She was told that it was OK for her to come and see her in the lounge/bar area but we didnt want to disturb people in the snooze zone.

"There was one drama after another and Elton Johns band were on board too and they said they werent happy with her behaviour and her insults.

"I think we would wait and see what state she was in before letting her on one of our planes again.

"I always support my staff and I know this in-flight attendant and I know some of the other passengers well.

"When I saw Courtney at the concert she accepted she was wrong and that she has had her comeuppance.

"Every single passenger on the flight heard what she said.

"If you fly with a psychiatric nurse, youve obviously got some problems and we have to be sympathetic to someone like that but there are no special favours.

"She even asked us to pay for her return tickets on British Airways but we said no way.

"This is very serious. She refused to put on a seatbelt four times and it was a combination of things.

"We have rock star after rock star on board with no problems.

"In retrospect, we shouldnt have let her on in the first place.

"There were reports from ground staff in Los Angeles that she may not have been in a fit state.

"My crew did an admirable job," said Branson.