The man who racially abused a fellow passenger on a Ryanair flight claimed he is not a racist and apologized to the victim on live British television Friday, according to the Daily Mail.
A shocking video that went viral showed David Mesher, 70, using racial slurs when addressing seatmate Delsie Gayle, 77, aboard a plane in Barcelona that was heading to London — including calling her an “ugly black b******.” Now, Mesher, who’s from Birmingham, went on live TV to deny that he is prejudiced, claiming the vile rant was due to “bad temper.”
“I’m not a racist person by any means and it was just a fit of bad temper at the time,” he told Good Morning Britain.
“I apologize for all the distress you’ve had there and since,” he then told Gayle, who is a Windrush immigrant and was also present on set.
Mesher claimed he became extremely upset when he tried to reach the window seat and Gayle didn’t seem to want to get up to let him through.
“I said I’ve got to get to the window seat and there didn’t seem to be any response. And then I asked her again, I said I have to get to the window seat and she didn’t seem to want to get up… then I probably lost my temper a bit and I ordered her to get up,” he said.
Gayle, who appeared on the show alongside her daughter Carol (who was also on the UK-bound plane), was asked if she could ever forgive Mesher for his vile tirade.
“You must forget and forgive but it’s going to take a long time. I was so depressed, all I’ve been doing [is] just crying, I cant sleep,” she confessed.
Daughter Carol also pointed out that Mesher wouldn’t have used certain expressions “if he wasn’t racist.” The family is now pursuing legal action against Ryanair, after claiming the airline is trying to “sweep it under the carpet,” and saying they have not yet been contacted by them. Carol added that people on the plane who witnessed the incident did very little to help her mother, particularly the flight attendant, who is seen in the footage asking Gayle if she would like to be moved to another seat.
Ryanair has come under fire for failing to remove Mesher from the plane when the incident took place. The Good Morning Britain interview comes only two days after police questioned Mesher at his house, as his identity became public, but he wasn’t arrested.