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  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 10:38am
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Malaysia Airlines steward put hand down my pants, weeping passenger says

Australian says member of cabin crew put hand down her pants, then begged her to keep quiet

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 August, 2014, 10:19pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 August, 2014, 11:44am

A chief steward with Malaysia Airlines allegedly put his hand down a woman's pants during a flight to France and then pleaded with her not to report the incident, she told Australian media.

Laura Bushney, who is from Perth, said she was petrified when the steward allegedly began touching her under the guise of calming her nerves as she was afraid of flying with the disaster-prone airline.

Earlier this month, the airline issued a statement acknowledging that a cabin crew member had been detained in France over the sexual assault allegations on August 4.

Bushney, aged 26, told Australia's Channel Seven on Sunday evening that three hours into the half-full flight from Kuala Lumpur to Paris the steward sat beside her and then allegedly began massaging her legs.

He’s massaging my legs. I’m so scared, I just want to get off this plane
LAURA BUSHNEY ON A TAPE OF INCIDENT

She also claims he later put his hand down her pants, taking advantage of her vulnerability due to a fear of flying.

"I just keep saying why didn't I scream, why didn't I shout? Why didn't I stop it? I am a strong person because I can do that. I know I can," Bushney said. "When I was in the moment I couldn't. I felt so scared, so petrified."

However, Bushney recorded part of the alleged incident on the mobile phone wrapped in a scarf next to her pillow.

In the recording, which was played on Channel Seven, she can be heard whispering what he was doing to her.

"He's massaging my legs," she can be heard saying. "I'm so scared, I just want to get off this plane."

Bushney was reportedly seated in row 81, which was vacant except for a man six seats away on the far side of the plane.

After the incident she told a passenger in front of her, Canadian Sophie Lachance, what had just happened.

"Somebody touched my arm ... and I remember I woke up and I saw her face full of tears, and she was sobbing really, really strong," Lachance told Channel Seven. "She told me that this man did something to her."

The steward returned to where Bushney was seated and can be seen pleading with her that his "intentions were good" on the recording she made.

"You wanted to calm me down by putting your hand in my pants. You did. You put your hand inside my pants," she can be heard telling him.

He reportedly made another attempt to apologise later, to which she replied: "You've got a wife at home and you're putting your hands down my pants. Why would you do that?"

Malaysia's struggling national airline has been struck by twin tragedies this year. Flight MH370, bound for Beijing, went missing in March and flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Ukraine.

In its statement, Malaysia Airlines vowed to assist French authorities in their investigation, adding "the safety, comfort and well-being of our passengers is always our highest priority".

But Bushney told Channel Seven she was disappointed with its response to her complaint, claiming the airline had not contacted her since.

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This article is now closed to comments

asiaseen
There are many strange aspects to this woman's story worth questioning. The first must be that someone with a fear of flying chooses to fly halfway round the world with an airline that is not enjoying the best reputation for safety at the moment.
53b67fe6-fef8-46a4-9a6d-74350a320969
Not trying to defend the guy, we wouldn't know what really happened. Sexual harassment is absolutely wrong and should be condemned. But this woman's story is somewhat questionable. Seems a bit of a mental case.....
Shadow
She only wants compensation. she made all this drama. She was in shock, terrified, and still able to record. she knew she is flying by Malaysia Airlines and it is only when air born she got terrified. I bet she knows that under French laws person "IS GUILTY" till proven otherwise. a totally unbelievable story.
michaelhctam@gmail.com
Every Asian woman that I know who's been to Asia's hinterland on holidays has told horror stories of openly leering, groping and generally disgusting behaviour by the Western men. Not the Indians, not the Chinese, but the Westerners.
Says something about those pious Jesus followers, huh?
538eaa69-8078-43ce-a47c-34f30a320969
If she were Japanese or 10 years old, other than seeing Medusa, petrified is far fetched. Compounded by the fact she is a Caucasian who are legendary in cultures of being out-spoken and liberal, it makes this case more baffled. I'm not fond of what the cabin crew did, but if I were a jury, she would have a hard time convincing me being scared all those long moments being groped without a sign of struggle.
chaz_hen
Every Gwei_lo woman that I know who's been to Malaysia's hinterland outside KL on holidays has told horror stories of openly leering, groping and generally disgusting behaviour by the Malay men. Not the Indians, not the Chinese, but the Malays.
Says something about those pious Mohammed followers, huh?
tomonday
great! absolutely definitely flying malaysian airlines now, hope the ticket prices are cheaper than Air Asia
53cc5f1b-5ea0-4270-9016-74420a320969
Duh, because it is as good a carrier as most. I've flown with MAS and have had no complaints about the airline or the service. What is alleged here, even if it is true, is extraordinary and totally atypical - hardly a basis for seriously querying why people would want to fly with the airline at all. Keep a sense of proportion and avoid hysteria.
53f3dde0-cb30-4f7e-99f1-52bb0a3209cb
They should hire more gay stewards like the other airlines do.
michaelhctam@gmail.com
Thats pretty hot man.

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