The kiss-and-tell showdown between Leisha Hailey and Southwest Airlines has intensified.
Both sides are making new and conflicting statements about what led to Hailey and her girlfriend being kicked off the flight this week.
Hailey, 40, who starred on The L Word, and her girlfriend, Camila Grey, released a lengthy statement Tuesday accusing Southwest of homophobia. The couple say they shared “one, modest kiss” for which they were scolded by a flight attendant, who told them their behavior was unacceptable on “a family-oriented airline.”
“No matter how quietly homophobia is whispered, it doesn’t make it any less loud. You can’t whisper hate,” the women say in their statement.
Hailey and Grey say they are filing a formal complaint with the airline, adding: “We hope that when all is said and done a greater tolerance without prejudice will evolve.”
In an updated statement of its own, Southwest says passengers on the flight reported “an excessive public display of affection” between the two, but that they were ultimately kicked off the flight for aggressively using profanity, not for kissing.
“Profane language was being used loudly by two passengers,” the statement says. “We do not tolerate discrimination against anyone for any reason. In this situation, their removal was directly and solely related to the escalated conversation that developed onboard the aircraft.”
In their statement, Hailey and Grey say they “take full responsibility for getting verbally upset with the flight attendant,” but that they were simply angry about the discrimination.
“In no way were our actions on Southwest Airlines excessive, inappropriate or vulgar,” they write. “We want to make it clear we were not making out or creating any kind of spectacle of ourselves, it was one, modest kiss. … We ask this airline to teach their employees to not discriminate against any couple, ever, regardless of their own beliefs.”