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Thorbjorn Olesen has told a court that he felt “embarrassed” and “horrible” after being accused of various offences onboard a transatlantic flight in July 2019.

The Ryder Cup winner was giving evidence at London’s Aldersgate House Nightingale Court where he is standing trial on counts of sexual assault, assault by beating and being drunk on an aircraft during a British Airways flight from Nashville to London Heathrow in July 2019.

He also allegedly urinated on a first-class passenger’s seat.

Yesterday, the court was told that, amongst other things, the 31-year-old Dane grabbed a woman’s breast and was “under the influence of something” on the flight.

Olesen denies all charges.

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Asked by his barrister, Trevor Burke QC, about the allegations, Olesen said: “I felt absolutely horrible and I was very sorry. I could not believe what they were saying what happened. I was just embarrassed and felt horrible.

“I think I remember taking off. I’m not 100 per cent sure.”



Olesen added that he had not been sleeping well for several weeks
leading up to the journey and planned to sleep on the plane. He said
that he drank two beers and a further two glasses of red wine with a
sushi platter on board a private jet.

He then had a vodka and cranberry
juice before boarding the British Airways flight, as well as two
melatonin tablets, which he to combat jet lag, along with two
Ambien/Zolpidem pills.

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pills, he said, were given to him by his partner Lauren Zafer and that
he was unaware that they were prescription-only, with side effects
including sleep walking and amnesia.

“My last memory is getting a glass of Champagne and sitting down in my seat and I think I remember taking off,” he said. 

After the arrest and speaking to police, my girlfriend questioned me a lot. I told her that I took sleeping pills. She started feeling a bit guilty and scared. She said you have to take one [pill].

“She told me that she started taking one and then two after some time. She told me later a couple of examples [of curious behaviour].’

Mr Burke asked: “Had you known she had some adverse reaction to the tablets would you have taken them at all?”

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“No, I wouldn’t,” replied Olesen.

Cross-examined by prosecutor Max Hardy, Olesen denied taking the pills with alcohol ‘for fun’.

“I wanted to try to sleep all the way to London,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking about partying or anything.”

The trial continues.


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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