Cannes: Suicide Scare on British Airways Flight
Hollywood executives on a flight bound for London were diverted to Iceland after a man apparently tried to take his own life.
Hollywood executives headed for the Cannes Film Festival on a British Airways flight leaving Los Angeles for London on Monday were left rattled when the plane was diverted to Iceland after a man apparently attempted to commit suicide in a bathroom of a giant Airbus 380.
Around 6 a.m. London time, with four hours left to go in the transatlantic flight, the pilot announced the plane was being diverted to Iceland in order to take a passenger off the plane, along with his bags.
Stan Rosenfield, a veteran publicist whose client roster includes George Clooney, was among those taking flight No. 6185. "Earlier, I remember going to the bathroom and it said occupied. I didn't feel like going to another section. A little while later, the same thing happened, so I just went to another bathroom," he told The Hollywood Reporter.
"Then there were a series of beeps — I've never heard anything like it. All the flight attendants converged in the galley where the bathroom was and drew the curtain," continued Rosenfield, who is in Cannes to assist Clooney, whose movie, Money Monster, is set to premiere Thursday night at the fest (the actor wasn't on the plane).
A flight attendant told the man sitting next to Rosenfield that the man was found slumped over in the restroom and that he had cut his wrists. However, other Hollywood executives aboard the flight said the man had taken pills.
British Airways declined to comment on the man's condition. "Our Los Angeles to Heathrow service was diverted to Iceland so that a customer could receive medical assistance. The customer was taken to a hospital locally and the flight continued to Heathrow after a two-hour delay," the airline said in a statement. "On a guidance basis only we understand that the customer was discharged from hospital the same day."
Fox and Sony executives also were aboard the flight.
"It's very upsetting in retrospect when you consider what was going down," said Rosenfield, who never actually saw the man. "Apparently, they knocked down the bathroom door when there was no response, or they had a key."
Upon landing in London, Rosenfield, along with other business-class customers, was interviewed by police about anything they might have seen. "I asked the officer if he was okay," he said. "He said he had been discharged."