LONDON, UK — Thorbjorn Olesen, a Danish golfer, stood in a London court on Monday, accused of grabbing a woman’s breast, pushing a cabin crew member, and urinating on a first-class passenger’s seat on a flight back to the UK after a World Golf Championships event in Tennessee in 2019.
In the commencement of his trial at Aldersgate House Nightingale Court, Olesen denied charges of sexual assault, assault, and being drunk on an airplane.
After tied for 27th at the St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Olesen, who has won five European Tour events and was a member of Europe’s Ryder Cup-winning squad in 2018, was on board the flight alongside other professionals, including Ian Poulter and Justin Rose.
After drinking beer and taking sleeping pills, he claimed he had no recollection of his behavior on the plane. On July 29, he was apprehended after landing at Heathrow Airport.
In a statement read in court, Sarah White, a member of the British Airways cabin staff, claimed she tried to steer Olesen back to his seat after he went to the lavatory and battled to come out by pulling on a draw door.
“It’s all about you, isn’t it?” Olesen is reported to have pressed White with his right hand on her shoulder.
Mr. Olesen abused me and failed to follow my orders during the flight, she alleged. “I have never seen such horrible behavior onboard a flight in my 27 years of service.”
Olesen grabbed her hand and began kissing it, according to a woman who asked not to be identified because she is a sexual assault victim.
“He wouldn’t let go, nuzzling his face into the nape of my neck.” “I had the impression he didn’t know what he was doing,” she explained. “His right hand was wrapped around my back. He then gripped my breast with his left hand and ran his hand over my right breast. I was taken aback. He’d stepped beyond the line.”
The cabin staff reportedly intervened, and Olesen was eventually carried to his seat with the assistance of Poulter, but he afterwards awoke and urinated on a seat and the aisle, according to the court.
Olesen told police that he had taken a natural sleeping tablet, as well as other sleeping pills, and had five or six drinks, including red wine, beer, and vodka, with the purpose of “knocking himself out.”
“He claimed he felt horrible and embarrassed, and was very remorseful,” prosecutor Max Hardy said of the interview.
Poulter claimed Olesen was “in a good mood” and “quite happy” when he boarded the plane in a statement. He admitted to taking sleeping pills but stated he didn’t give any to Olesen.
“I had no idea what had transpired,” Poulter explained. “I assisted him in returning to his seat. I just figured he’d had too much to drink because he looked a little worse for wear.”
The European Tour suspended Olesen in August 2019 awaiting the outcome of an inquiry into his arrest and charges. The ban was removed in July of last year due to “extraordinary delays in judicial proceedings in the United Kingdom caused by the coronavirus outbreak,” according to the tour.