Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Friday, September 24, 1999 Published at 07:56 GMT 08:56 UK


Ross tells US TV of 'hellish experience'

Diana Ross arrives in New York

Motown legend Diana Ross has told American television of her "total humiliation" at being arrested after allegedly assaulting a British airport security guard.

The BBC's Nick Bryant: "Diana Ross has been the focus of massive media attention"
The 55-year-old singer claims that a female security guard acted improperly during a hand search on Wednesday.

Ms Ross says that after she activated a metal detector at airport security, the guard "fondled" her and she "felt violated".

After complaining to British Airways, Ms Ross confronted the officer, touched her and said: "This is how it feels to be fondled." The assault complaint was then reported to police.

[ image: Diana Ross was led away by police on Wednesday morning]
Diana Ross was led away by police on Wednesday morning
"Regrettably I think I reacted to her," the Detroit-born star told a US chat show on Thursday.

"She was standing there very smug - I walked over to her and said, 'This is how it feels when someone rubs you up and down.' Maybe I shouldn't have."

The millionaire star, who has had 150 hit records over 35 years, broke down in tears at the police station, where she was held for five hours.

'Total humiliation'

She told American TV that it had been a "hellish experience".

"One of the women police officers put a rubber glove on her hand and I said, 'My God, what are you going to do?' I was so afraid. It was a day of total humiliation."

But Heathrow Airport has pledged its support for the security guard, saying she was "only carrying out her job".

[ image:  ]
In a statement, it said that the singer's version of events was "not consistent with eye-witness reports of the events which resulted in Miss Ross receiving a police caution".

The airport was adamant that the guard had simply been following standard procedure performed all over the UK.

"The security guard performed a routine search which does involve searching the front, back and sides of the body, and the inside and outside of legs - these are the places where any concealed items are likely to be carried."

It added that its safety procedures "ensure the safety of millions of people".

Ms Ross has said she has no plans to take action against the security guard.

Despite her brush with the law, she intends to return to the UK next month to promote a new CD.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

22 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Supreme queen of pop

23 Sep 99 | UK
Diana Ross: I will return

22 Sep 99 | UK
Tantrums and tiaras

22 Sep 99 | UK
Standard procedure: UK airport security

Internet Links

Diana Ross Fan Club

Who's The Boss? (fan site)

Metropolitan Police

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online