After being accused of sexually assaulting a flight attendant on the 2002 "Plane Ride From Hell" on the latest episode of Dark Side of The Ring, Ric Flair took to social media on Monday night with a statement fully denying the allegations. He wrote, "I allowed my personal life and the lives of my wife and children to be turned upside down for one reason: Whether it's good or bad, even the really bad, the truth has to matter. Even in wrestling. My issues have been well documented over my 40+ year career. The impact of drinking too much (which nearly killed me 5 years ago) has been told time and time and time again. The reason Rory (Karpf, director of the 30 for 30 documentary Nature Boy) (or anyone else for that matter) never heard stories of me forcing myself on ANYONE is simple: it never happened."
During his statement Flair pulled a direct quote from an interview Karpf did with Wrestling Inc. earlier that day. On Tuesday the 16-time former world champion issued a second statement to the outlet, stating that while some of the accusations made in the episode were true he never forced himself on the flight attendant.
"To clarify, the 'helicopter' as it was called, is accurate. I wish I could blame it on youth, but it was a case of drinking too much and being inappropriate and I apologize for that (and have countless times over the years)," Flair said. "I made some bad decisions during dark periods in my life, and it is something I've spent a significant part of years I was given by the doctors in 2017 trying to make right. I condemn sexual assault in any way, shape or form. I could (and have) written books (as have others) that have covered my transgressions. I've made some terrible decisions, but I've never forced myself on anyone in any way. Period."
In an interview prior to the episode's release, one of the series creators Evan Husney explained why he and Jason Eisener chose to finally make an episode on the "Plane Ride From Hell."
"Since the beginning of the show, it's been any time we've interfaced with friends, family, or fans, it's always been when are doing the Plane Ride From Hell? It's always been at the forefront of an episode suggestion and truth be told, I think that the knowledge of what's out there about the events that took place on that ill-fated flight is I think for us always been us trying to wrap our heads around how it could be an episode," Husney said. "Where's the human angle? Where's that quality that's going to transcend it beyond just a party gone crazy in the sky?
"And so, we always put it off, but the demand was so overwhelming for it, but once we started to dig into researching it and talking to some people who were on the flight, man, it was really eyeopening," he continued. "And that story, that real Dark Side of the Ring human story really did start to emerge from it. And I do think that for us, I think, yeah. It really surprised us in terms of how well it sort of came together as a story. But I think it's definitely going to be a conversation, water cooler moment in the wrestling sphere when this thing drops next week."