HOUSTON, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Lawyers gave opening statements Thursday in a Texas lawsuit brought by a flight attendant who says she was assaulted by a televangelist's wife.
Jurors heard radically different versions of the incident on board a Continental flight in 2005 from Houston to Vail, Colo. Both sides do agree that Victoria Osteen, co-pastor at her husband Joel's Lakewood Church, was upset because some liquid had been spilled on the arm of one of the seats occupied by her family in first class.
Osteen's lawyer said that Sandra Brown made up the story that Osteen physically attacked her.
"This is nothing more than attempted extortion dressed up in a lawsuit," Rusty Hardin said.
Brown's lawyer, Reginald McKamie, said that Osteen became violent when Brown and another flight attendant barred her from talking to the pilot. McKamie said that the attack was devastating for his client, who lost her religious faith as a result.
Osteen has already paid a $3,000 fine to the Federal Aviation Administration for trying to interfere with a member of a flight crew.