Fame and celebrity

EgyptAir stands by bizarre interview with ‘Drew Barrimoor’ star’s spokesperson says never happened

Hollywood star opens up in chat with reporter in New York for carrier’s in-flight magazine, but Barrymore’s spokesperson denies the two ever met

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 October, 2018, 8:19pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 October, 2018, 8:20pm

EgyptAir is standing by a writer for its in-flight magazine who penned a bizarre article purportedly based on an interview with American actress Drew Barrymore.

The article, riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, led with a description of Barrymore as “being unstable in her relationships” and quoted her as saying motherhood was “the most important role in my life”.

In a tweet sent late on Wednesday in response to online criticism, the national carrier thanked author Aida Tekla for “the clarification” in which she claimed the interview was indeed real and took place in New York.

“This interview with Drew Barrymore in the Egypt Air in flight magazine is, umm, surreal,” journalist and Yemen expert Adam Baron wrote on Twitter.

The post, which included pictures of the three-page interview in the print edition of the magazine, has been liked or shared more than 10,000 times since Baron tweeted it on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Barrymore told the Huffington Post website the actress “did not participate” in the interview and that her team was “working with the airline PR team”.

Some press reports in the US have suggested the author must have based her article on misinterpretations of a press conference.

But EgyptAir insisted the interview was legitimate.

“This a professional magazine interview conducted by Dr Aida Tekla Former president of the HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association) and one of the voting members of the Golden Globes,” it tweeted back at an aviation journalist who asked whether it was “completely false”.

A spokeswoman for EgyptAir told said on Thursday the article was authentic, without giving further details.

The journalist Tekla also defended the story.

“The interview with Drew Barrimoor (sic) which took place in New York is genuine &far from fake,” she tweeted. “As far as Drew we interviewed her several times I saw her grow up before my eyes she is charming and talented.”

Barrymore shot to fame as a child star in Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and is now starring in the Netflix horror-comedy series Santa Clarita Diet.

The article in EgyptAir’s Horus magazine opens with a commentary on Barrymore’s private life, suggesting she had been “unstable in her relationships most of her life” and that she had been in “almost 17 relationships, engagements and marriages”.

“Psychologists believe that her behaviour is only natural since she lacked the male role model in her life,” it says.

Barrymore’s reported responses to the questions also raised eyebrows.

“I feel overwhelmed when someone tells me that I have regained my image and managed to lose that extra weight,” she was quoted as saying in answer to a question about being overweight due to pregnancy. “I find this a great opportunity to encourage every woman who is overweight to work on regaining her beauty and body.”

Asked about the status of women today, she was quoted as saying: “I cannot deny that women made a great achievement over the past century; there is a significant progress recorded by people who study women status throughout history.”

EgyptAir’s in-flight magazine has Arabic and English sections, but translations are often poor and English-language articles filled with errors.

Associated Press, Agence France-Presse