Former European Ryder Cupper Thorbjorn Olesen was found not guilty overnight of charges of sexual assault, assault and being drunk on an aircraft.
On Monday, a London court heard that Olesen exhibited uncouth behaviour on a flight from Nashville to London after the 2019 WGC–FedEx St Jude Invitational. The Danish golfer was said to have pushed a British Airways worker, kissed another worker’s hand, touched a woman’s breast and cried before falling asleep, later waking up and urinating on another passenger’s seat. On Tuesday, Olesen, 31, apologised for his actions.
“I felt absolutely horrible and I was very sorry,” Olesen said. “I could not believe what they were saying what happened. I was just embarrassed and felt horrible.”
Olesen explained he drank two beers and two glasses of wine on a private jet beforehand, and had a vodka and cranberry juice before boarding the London-bound flight. He also took two melatonin pills to combat jetlag, along with two Ambein pills. Olesen said he would “never” have taken the pills had he known they were prescription-only or that sleeping walking could be a side-effect. Olesen denied remembering the events on the plane.
Overnight, a jury – after less than an hour of deliberation – cleared him of all charges.
Olesen, a five-time winner on the European Tour and member of the 2018 European Ryder Cup team, was originally suspended by the European Tour but given temporary reinstatement in July 2020 because of the delay in the hearing of his court case due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He made 17 starts on the circuit this season but struggled, his poor performance Olesen attributed this week to the incident and its fallout.
PHOTO: Richard Heathcote