Dave Chappelle’s accused attacker said he was triggered by comedian’s LGBTQ jokes

Isaiah Lee cited memories of homelessness and molestation as the motive for his May 3 assault on Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl.

Loading the player...

The man accused of assaulting Dave Chappelle said the comedian’s jokes about the LGBTQ community and homelessness were a trigger for him because of his own struggles.

In an exclusive talk with The New York Post, Isaiah Lee said he went to Chappelle’s May 3 Hollywood Bowl concert during the Netflix Is A Joke fest with the intention of having a good time. He reportedly became enraged as Chappelle joked about his previous conflicts with the LGBTQ community and homelessness.

Stand-up favorite Dave Chappelle hangs out at last month’s Netflix Is A Joke comedy fest opening-night party at W Hollywood. (Photo: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

“I identify as bisexual … and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering,” Lee reportedly told The Post. “I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect.”

The 23-year-old father of a five-year-old son said as someone who has dealt with homelessness, he wanted Chappelle to understand it as nothing to joke about.

Another comedian in the show’s lineup, who went unidentified, reportedly made a vulgar joke about pedophilia, which, for Lee, brought up memories of his own teen molestation, he told The Post. He said he was molested when he was 17 while under the care of the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services.

Late in Chappelle’s set, Lee charged toward the comedian on stage and knocked him down. He then tried to flee before being contained by security.

Now, Lee faces misdemeanor charges that include battery and possessing a deadly weapon with the intent to assault. Lee is also facing felony charges in a stabbing case involving his roommate late last year, accusations that were brought to light after his attempted assault on Chappelle went viral.

“It was pretty much done,” Lee said of his criminal case involving Chappelle. “But it went from me probably only doing six months [in jail] and having to do community service and living in a transitional home … to possibly 15 or more years in jail.”

“My son will be big by the time I get out,” Lee added.

The LGBTQ community — especially transgender people — was thrown into a frenzy after Chappelle made explicit jokes they deemed offensive in his Netflix special, The Closer, in late 2021. During the set, he referenced trans women’s lady parts as “Beyond P—y or Impossible P—y.” The comedian also referred to himself as “Team TERF,” which stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.”

Although Lee maintains he did not intend to hurt Chappelle that night, he said he doesn’t regret what happened because he saw it as a chance to speak out against comedians constantly using homelessness, the LGBTQ community, and child sex abuse for content.

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today!

Loading the player...