BOSTON (AP) — A rap star says former Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney first touched him — and not the other way around — during a confrontation aboard an Air Canada flight that was preparing to take off from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Sky Blu, whose given name is Skyler Gordy, says in a video posted Friday on TMZ.com that he was trying to go to sleep when he leaned his seat back on the Vancouver-to-Los Angeles flight Monday. He says Romney loudly told him several times to straighten it and then grabbed his shoulder.
“I just react — boom — get off me, you know,” Gordy says in the video, taking a swing through the air as he speaks. “And I didn’t take it any further than that. I just wanted the man not to touch me; that’s it.”
Gordy says that Romney’s wife, Ann, screamed and that the plane returned to the gate before two police officers escorted him off. After being detained briefly, he was allowed to buy a ticket for another flight.
Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom had no comment Friday about whether Gordy was the man with whom Romney had the confrontation. But aides said this week that Romney told them he thought the other person was a band member.
Christine Wolff at Interscope Records confirmed that Gordy posted the TMZ video. Air Canada referred calls to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which did not return calls.
Shortly after the confrontation, Fehrnstrom said the passenger became “physically violent” with Romney, but the former Massachusetts governor did not retaliate and instead let the authorities deal with it.
Gordy says in the video that Romney grabbed him with a “condor grip,” as a sidekick play-acts the scene and adds: “Vulcan grip.”
Gordy then outlines his objection, saying, “I’m not your prey. I’m not a salmon going upstream. You’re not going to rip me up.”
The rapper says he was on the flight because he and his group, LMFAO, had been performing in Vancouver, where the Olympic Winter Games are being held. The Romneys were also there as special guests after Mitt Romney’s work heading the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.
Gordy says that after the plane pulled away from the gate, he put a jacket over his head and was trying to go to sleep when he felt “too upright.”
After he reclined his seat, he says, he heard Romney say repeatedly and loudly, “Sir, sir, put your seat up.”
Gordy says in the video that he pulled off his jacket, wondered whether Romney was being serious and then thought to himself, “If you ask nicely, I’ll put it up.”
But then things got physical, he says.
LMFAO, composed of Stefan Gordy and nephew Skyler, made their debut last year and are known for party music; they are best known for their club hit “I’m In Miami Trick.” They were recently nominated for a Grammy for their debut CD, “Party Rock.”
Stefan Gordy is the son of Motown founder Berry Gordy, while Skyler is Berry Gordy’s grandson.