The boyband Blue have said singer Lee Ryan was “physically assaulted” by a man while on a flight to Turkey.
In a statement released on Twitter, the band said the 39-year-old was assaulted while on the Turkish Airlines flight from Georgia to Istanbul.
They said he was then pushed down a flight of stairs by the same passenger once the plane had landed.
The statement said both Ryan and “the rest of the band defended him from the attack” but the singer injured his leg as a result of the fall.
The statement concluded that the incident occurred after Ryan had “put his feet on the seat, which was considered culturally insensitive”.
“Lee has apologised for any unknowing offence caused,” the statement continued.
Both Ryan and the passenger were spoken to by police, and the singer was “free to continue his journey” after voluntarily giving a victim statement, said the band.
“Lee was not at any point arrested, detained or charged with any offence,” they said.
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The incident comes after Ryan was found guilty of being drunk on an aircraft and racially aggravated common assault back in January after beating and behaving in an abusive way towards a black cabin crew member.
He also pleaded guilty to drunkenly assaulting a police officer by biting him as he was being arrested.
The singer has since appealed his conviction by claiming he acted in self-defence. He awaits his sentencing.
Image: (L-R) Antony Costa, Duncan James, Simon Webbe and Lee Ryan of boyband Blue During the trial, the court heard how Ryan grabbed the female cabin crew member’s wrists and told her “I want your chocolate children”, while drunk on a British Airways flight from Glasgow to London in July 2022.
The comments were made after he was refused more alcohol and told to sit down.
During an appearance in court at the beginning of the year, the singer said he did not mean to cause distress and claimed his actions were merely “playful”.
The star shot to fame in 2001 with Blue.
Their debut song All Rise reached number four in the UK singles chart and topped the charts in New Zealand.