The friendly skies are a little less so when Courtney Love is in the air.
British cops nabbed the mercurial singer-actress for allegedly fighting with a flight attendant after their transatlantic flight touched down at London’s Heathrow Airport today.
Love, 38, was en route to London from Los Angeles on a Virgin Atlantic overnight flight when the rocker went off on the cabin crew, according to an airline spokeswoman, who labeled the star a “disruptive passenger.”
The plane’s captain called ahead to notify the police, and officers were there to meet the plane when it landed at 11:02 a.m. local time. The former Hole frontwoman flashed a smile for the Sky News TV cameras as she was escorted from the plane and into a police van.
A brief statement released Tuesday from Love’s New York-based publicist downplayed the incident, saying, “There was a brief verbal disagreement during the flight, but this situation has been highly exaggerated.”
Love, who was flying to Britain to attend Elton John and Kevin Spacey’s Old Vic charity bash which takes place Wednesday, was arrested on suspicion of disruptive behavior and endangering an aircraft–an offense that carries a possible two-year prison sentence. Police questioned Love at the airport over allegations that she refused to sit down and put on her seatbelt aboard the aircraft and that she verbally assaulted the cabin crew.
Love was released nine hours later with a warning. No charges were pressed but the star made a stink about the in-flight service, “This is my second time on Virgin and my first time wasn’t so great either,” Love told reporters upon her release. “I think that I have been flying British Airways for a long time and I will continue to do so.”
For its part, the airline did not follow through on its threat to go full throttle on their high-profile passenger. “We will not tolerate disruptive behavior by passengers on board any of our aircraft, [we will] always report it to the authorities and [will] always push for prosecution,” said a statement released by Virgin at the time of Love’s arrest.
None of the 201 passengers nor the 20 crew members on board the Boeing 747 aircraft suffered any injuries during the altercation.
Love isn’t exactly the dream seatmate for long flights. She was arrested following a 1995 argument with a flight attendant on a Qantas flight to Australia.
Earlier this week, the widow of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was reportedly holed up in a Hawaiian hotel, where she placed dozens of erratic late-night calls to designers seeking a dress for her appearance at the Old Vic Theater charity show. (Elvis Costello and Sinead O’Connor are also slated to help raise funds to renovate the aging landmark.)
The volatile performer, who has a well-documented history of drug and alcohol problems, is also raising eyebrows over her stripped-down appearance in the March issue of Q Magazine, which features the single mom naked and getting her bikini line waxed.
The jet-setting Love hasn’t been the only celebrity rocker arrested for outrageous in-flight antics. In 2001, Peter Buck, 46, was arrested for an apparent case of air rage during a British Airways flight from Seattle to Heathrow. The R.E.M. guitarist reportedly roughed up two crew members, damaged the aircraft and disobeyed captain’s orders but was later found innocent of the charges.