Earlier in July, the #PlaneBae saga went viral on social media, as one Rosey Blair documented on Twitter what she presented as a love connection between strangers — a man and a woman, sitting in front of her on an airplane.
Now, for the first time, the woman involved in the #PlaneBae saga breaks her silence, and says that being an unwitting part of this social media phenomenon has had serious consequences for her 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,” she says, in a statement provided to Business Insider by her lawyer on Thursday.
Business Insider has verified that she is the woman from the Twitter posts. We have not published her name out of respect for her desire for privacy. You can read her full statement at the end of this story.
The #PlaneBae himself, former pro soccer player Euan Holden, embraced his newfound celebrity, and even appeared on the Today Show. However, after Blair’s Twitter posts went viral, the woman quickly went to ground, deleting her own social media accounts in an attempt to preserve her privacy.
Still, it didn’t stop some internet users from finding and circulating her personal information, she says.
“Strangers publicly discussed my private life based on patently false information,” she writes. “I have been doxxed, shamed, insulted and harassed. Voyeurs have come looking for me online and in the real world.” (“Doxxing” is internet slang for when a person’s private information is publicly released against their will.)
The #PlaneBae saga sparked a sizable backlash, as pundits and average users alike wondered if it was reasonable for to assume that you should expect to be filmed, photographed, and otherwise recorded at all times for the purposes of providing someone else with social media content.
Blair, for her part, ultimately decided to delete the original #PlaneBae posts earlier this week, and apologized for what she said she now sees as an invasion of the strangers’ privacy.
“The last thing I want to do is remove agency and autonomy from another woman. I wish I could communicate the shame I feel in having done this, but I truly feel that at this point my feelings are irrelevant,” Blair wrote in her apology.
Earlier on Thursday, Holden posted his own reflection on the #PlaneBae saga and the backlash, too, calling it an “incredibly humbling experience.”
We’ve reached out to Holden and Blair for additional comment and will update if we hear back.
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.