Published Wednesday, 08 January 2014
Jennifer Lauren, niece of designer Ralph Lauren, leaves Ennis District Court. (© PA)
Jennifer Lauren had been onboard a transatlantic flight from Barcelona to New York which had to be diverted to Shannon Airport in the Republic of Ireland on Monday afternoon.
The 41-year-old initially appeared before Killaloe District Court, sitting in the downstairs function room of the Brian Boru pub.
On Wednesday, at Ennis District Court in Co Clare, she pleaded guilty to being drunk on the plane and breaching the peace.
More than 200 passengers and crew were on the flight at the time.
A Garda officer told the court that Lauren had been loud-mouthed, abusive and threatening as she swore at airline staff and pushed a stewardess into the wall of the aircraft.
The flight had been in the air for two hours when the stewardess noticed the defendant crying in her seat which would not recline properly, the officer explained.
She told the air hostess she was going to go ballistic and pushed the air hostess hard and she hit her back against the wall of the aircraft.
Garda officer, in court
He added that Lauren told the staff member to "get the f*** out of my face" as she tried to help.
When asked to calm down, she was said to have become more abusive - following the stewardess through the first class section and into the gallery where she ranted angry abuse at her.
She called her a "fat, ugly, unhappy, blonde b****", the court heard.
A pilot who also intervened while on a rest break in the cabin was called "an a**hole" by Lauren.
The jewellery designer's solicitor claimed her client was upset and embarrassed by her actions, adding that they were out of character and caused by a reaction to alcohol mixed with medication.
The diversion of almost 400 miles to Shannon cost the airline $43,158.
More than 100 passengers were affected, with 10 having to be put on later connecting flights, 70 given an overnight stay, and 27 staying for two nights in New York.
Lauren, who looked towards her friends for reassurance during the court proceedings, was fined €2,000 by Judge Patrick Durcan.
He branded the personal insults towards the airline staff as "nothing short of reprehensible" and said that the disruption to other passengers was "serious in the extreme".
Lauren refused to comment as she left the court.
© UTV News