Ralph Lauren’s designs may be clothes for the refined lifestyle of the East Coast upper crust, but his niece Jenny — who once wrote a book about how the pressures of being a Lauren drove her to anorexia — was anything but dignified on a flight from New York to Barcelona Monday.
Lauren’s niece, 41, went on a profane and abusive tirade toward flight attendants that caused her flight to be diverted to Shannon, Ireland, ruining the travel plans of more than 200 passengers and costing Delta Airlines in excess of $41,000, according to Ireland’s Independent newspaper.
Lauren pleaded guilty in an Irish court and was slapped with a fine of 2000 euros, or just over $2,700 on Wednesday.
Sometimes described as the black sheep of the Ralph Lauren clan, Jenny Lauren was “extremely embarrassed and extremely upset” over her apparently drunken meltdown, her lawyers told Judge Patrick Durcan.
They also said that Lauren did not remember much of the ugly altercation. She had consumed just three alcoholic drinks on the flight, but their effect was made more powerful by medication that she was taking, the attorneys said, as reported in The Daily Mail.
Jenny Lauren’s father is the brother of Ralph Lauren, Jerry, who serves as executive vice president of men’s design at the fashion house famous for its “Polo” logo, and polo-playing image.
But she has suffered from depression and bi-polar disorder as well as eating disorders, which were the subject of her 2004 book, Homesick, described by The San Francisco Chronicle as “a candid account of a privileged adolescence, pain and illness” growing up as part of the Ralph Lauren family.
According to an account offered in court, Lauren — who was not sitting in the first class section — became distraught on Monday’s trans-Atlantic flight when her chair failed to recline. When she began to sob, flight attendant Constance Topping attempted to help her only to be told by Ralph Lauren’s niece to “get the f*** out of my face.”
Topping attempted to calm the woman, only to be violently shoved against the wall of the aircraft by Lauren and derided as a “f****** ugly, blonde b****.” Lauren also berated Topping’s supervisor, Jennifer Simpson, calling her a “fat ugly, unhappy, blonde b****.”
One of the flight’s pilots attempted to intervene, only to be called an “a******” by Lauren. At that point, the flight was diverted to Ireland. But Lauren’s incoherent, shouted tirade did not let up for the entire hour until the flight landed.
Her lawyer, Sharon Curley, said that despite her surname and affiliation with the Ralph Lauren family, Jenny Lauren was simply a single businesswoman who works for herself and doesn’t even have any employees.