The dramatic tale of #PlaneBae went something like this. A woman named Rosey Blair — at the time the hero, but soon to be the villain in this story — switched seats with another passenger. That switch wound up seating a soccer player and personal trainer named Euan Holden next to a woman he didn’t know. The pair (Holden and his new seatmate) appeared to hit it off, and reportedly spent the flight chatting and touching each other’s arms. How do we know this? Because Blair live-tweeted and Instagram Storied the entire thing, complete with photos blurring out the couple’s faces. Neither the woman nor Holden knew this was happening, so they did not give their consent.
By the time the plane landed, the couple was a viral phenomenon. Whether they wanted to be or not. Holden, a former professional soccer player who already had tens of thousands of Instagram followers, leaned into the fame, doing all kinds of press and television appearances. His seatmate, however, remained off the grid. Maybe because some people don’t want to become famous online and have the entire world know everything about them, including their location. Just a thought!
On Thursday, the woman provided a statement to Business Insider via her attorney. She says she has been doxed since going viral, and that people have tried to find her both online and IRL. “Strangers publicly discussed my private life based on patently false information,” the statement says.
From Business Insider:
I am a young professional woman. On July 2, I took a commercial flight from New York to Dallas. Without my knowledge or consent, other passengers photographed me and recorded my conversation with a seatmate. They posted images and recordings to social media, and speculated unfairly about my private conduct.
Since then, my personal information has been widely distributed online. Strangers publicly discussed my private life based on patently false information. I have been doxxed, shamed, insulted and harassed. Voyeurs have come looking for me online and in the real world.
I did not ask for and do not seek attention. #PlaneBae is not a romance — it is a digital-age cautionary tale about privacy, identity, ethics and consent.
Please continue to respect my privacy, and my desire to remain anonymous.
Blair, the woman who started this whole mess, posted an, um, let’s say, apology earlier this week on Twitter. “I apologize for utilizing what could have been a beautiful charming moment among strangers as a tool to communicate a narrative I am fond of,” Blair wrote in her tweet, a screenshot of a longer apology written, of course, using the iPhone Notes app. I’m not going to link to it because in addition to purporting to be sorry for what she did, Blair also used the woman’s name. Which is possibly the worst way to apologize to somebody you’ve already effectively doxed and who is begging for her rightfully deserved privacy. She also kindly offered her “services” to “continue this story.” “It’s now yours, as it should have been this entire time,” Blair wrote. “Whatever decision you come to, I am humbled to honor it. And will work to right (or write) this wrong.”