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Thorbjørn Olesen apologizes after being acquitted of sexual assault on jets

The Danish golfer Thorbjorn Olesen, on the right, leaves with his partner Lauren Zafer after a hearing in his trial in Aldersgate House, in London, on Wednesday 8 December 2021. Olesen appeared in a court in London on Monday for accusations that he grabbed a woman's breast.  pushed a member of the cabin crew and urinated on a first-class passenger seat on a plane to the UK from a World Golf Championships event in Tennessee in 2019. (AP Photo / Frank Augstein)

Thorbjørn Olesen (right) left the runway after being acquitted of groping a woman on a flight (Photo: Getty)

Golf star Thorbjørn Olesen cried in court and hugged his partner when he was acquitted of groping a woman on a transatlantic flight after taking sleeping pills and booze.

The Dane, 31 – who helped Europe win the Ryder Cup in 2018 – said that Ambien pills that Lauren Zafer bought online and left in her laundry bag made him an ‘vending machine’.

He said he had hoped to sleep through the eight-hour Nashville to Heathrow flight in July 2019, following “an exhausting game plan” – including The Open.

Olesen had drunk champagne, vodka and wine and taken melanin tablets to fight jet lag before flying back with other golf professionals, including Englishman Ian Poulter, 45, and Justin Rose, 41.

Witnesses said he ran around the cabin ‘like a little boy’, was caught on the toilet and verbally abused the cabin crew.

He was accused of groping a woman before crying when he fell asleep – and then urinated on a seat and once. But a jury considered for less than an hour after the three-day trial before yesterday clearing him of sexual assault and assault.

Olesen was on the flight with golfers Ian Poulter and Justin Rose (Photo: Getty)

A judge at Aldersgate House Nightingale Court in central London then dismissed an accusation of being drunk on a plane.

In a statement issued after the verdict, Olesen said he could not remember anything after the take-off, but was ’embarrassed and ashamed’ of what happened.

“I would like to apologize wholeheartedly to everyone on board the plane who was affected by my behavior,” he said.

‘My behavior was completely out of character, and nothing like this has ever happened to me before or since.’

The star – who was initially suspended and lost sponsorship deals – insisted: ‘I paid a very high price for my mistake.’

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