The woman in the #PlaneBae saga breaks her silence -- she says she's been 'shamed, insulted, and harassed' since the story went viral and asks for her privacy

  • Last week, the #PlaneBae saga went viral, as one Rosey Blair documented what she presented as a love connection between a man and a woman on an aeroplane.
  • Now the woman involved has broken her silence, and she says, “#PlaneBae is not a romance – it is a digital-age cautionary tale about privacy, identity, ethics and consent.”
  • “I have been doxxed, shamed, insulted and harassed,” she said in a statement to Business Insider. “Voyeurs have come looking for me online and in the real world.”
  • She asks for people to respect her privacy.
  • The #PlaneBae saga raises hard questions about expectations of privacy in a world where your every move can be tracked on social media.

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 aeroplane.

Now, for the first time, the woman involved in the #PlaneBae saga has broken her silence, and she says 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,” the woman, dubbed #PrettyPlaneGirl by social media, said in a statement provided to Business Insider by her lawyer, Wesley Mullen of New York City-based law firm Mullen PC, on Thursday. “#PlaneBae is not a romance – it is a digital-age cautionary tale about privacy, identity, ethics and consent.”

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.

In contrast, the woman’s #PlaneBae counterpart, a former pro soccer player named Euan Holden, embraced his newfound celebrity and even appeared on the “Today” show. After Blair’s Twitter posts went viral, the woman quickly went to ground, deleting her 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 said.

“Strangers publicly discussed my private life based on patently false information,” she said. “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 his or her will.

The #PlaneBae saga sparked a sizable backlash, as pundits and casual social-media users alike wondered whether it was reasonable for people to expect to be filmed, photographed, or otherwise recorded in public at all times for the purpose of providing someone else with social-media content.

Blair deleted the original #PlaneBae posts earlier this week and apologised for what she said she had come to see as an invasion of the strangers’ privacy.

“The last thing I want to do is remove agency and autonomy from another woman,” Blair wrote in her apology. “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.”

Earlier Thursday, Holden posted his own reflection on the #PlaneBae saga and the backlash, calling it an “incredibly humbling experience.”

Business Insider did not immediately hear back in response to requests for additional comment from Holden and Blair.

Here’s the woman’s full statement:

“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.”

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