Pop stars and twin sisters The Veronicas this week hit back at claims their most recent “crazy” and “confusing” run in with a protocol-obsessed Qantas stewardess was for publicity.
“This is a legal matter,” Jess said in an interview, dismissing the suggestion the highly publicised incident, involving her and her twin sister Lisa, was in some way acting as long-range publicity for pop star duo’s upcoming Foxtel reality program, Jess & Lisa: The Veronicas.
On Friday, the duo said they wished to remove themselves from what had become an “awful and unbelievable experience”.
To be fair, the attention surrounding the twins offloading from a Qantas flight on Sunday has now gone international, with coverage on USA Today, and Stuff, as well as being on every news site in Australia, and (about) 10,000 blogs.
But is it really so surprising? The twin sister pop duo are no stranger to a headline. In recent years, the teeny tiny (in height only) duo have caught media attention for publicly feuding with their exes, getting married by high priestesses, and bravely speaking out on LGBTQ rights.
THE FLIGHT, ACCORDING TO THE VERONICAS
On Sunday night, Australia was rocked by the news that the beloved pop duo was turfed from a flight from Sydney to Brisbane over a dispute over who could touch their on-board baggage.
Details from the girls themselves did not make it easier to swallow.
“This was crazy,” a post on The Veronicas Instagram began, continuing on that the girls had asked the attendant to help them move their bag because they’re literally too short to reach their bag, “We’re only 5’1”, they wrote.
The post was lengthy, and, I would editorialise that it was panicked, and breathless. Obviously, the media exploded.
“She said it was company policy that she could not touch the bag, and she walked away, and the gentleman behind us offered to help,” Lisa said in an interview with Channel 10’s The Project on Tuesday.
According to the girls, after the flight attendant initially left, she returned, with a supervisor, and began having a “very defensive conversation with us about company policy”.
“At that point, Lisa and I asked for their names,” Jess said, saying they couldn’t see who they were on their ID tags.
“At that point they told us they were calling security,” Jess said. At this point, they say, they began filming.
Host Tommy Little asked the pair if the incident was in any way linked to the upcoming Foxtel reality show, which is expected to screen in November, Jess & Lisa: The Veronicas.
“Ha! This is a legal matter, not a publicity stunt,” Jess fired back at Little.
“Does it help that it’s giving you some publicity?” Little continued.
“I don’t think it helps at all,” Lisa said, shaking her head.
The Veronicas said on the program they have further vision of the flight, which they currently cannot release for legal reasons.
Jess said the pair had asked Qantas for the formal reason why they’d been removed from the flight but were yet to receive a response from the airline.
On Friday, the pair continued to talk about the incident online. Posting stories on their Instagram account, the twins said they wished to remove themselves “from this awful and unbelievable experience”.
“We have lasted 15 years in our industry because we have always stood up for what we believe in and who we are,” the girls wrote, in part.
A passenger who was on board the flight told news.com.au earlier this week he felt the issue could have been dealt with by staff.
“Basically, they put their luggage in the wrong way with the wheels hanging out towards the aisle,” Damen, who wanted his surname withheld, told news.com.au.
“I was close enough to the discussion to see this was not a security threat,” he said.
“They (The Veronicas) were quite distressed and annoyed but no real raised voices. I think the whole thing was an over-reaction and Qantas could have dealt with it differently.”
It’s understood federal police did board QF516 to “offload” the two passengers. Company protocol is that cabin crew do not manage passenger’s baggage and advised the pair to seek assistance from another passenger if they were unable to personally move their bags. Qantas claims the pair became argumentative when they were made aware of the policy. This happened before the twins started rolling film on their smartphones, which the crew also reportedly asked them not to do.
BUT IS IT REALLY SO SURPRISING?
The identical, teeny tiny (“We’re 5’1”) twin pop stars are not strangers to an unusual headline, and being the spotlight for their usual posts, and quirks.
Jess and Lisa, from Brisbane, are beloved Aussie icons, and international chart sensations — and this is not because they’re shrinking violets.
In November last year, Lisa made headlines for her unique wedding to actor and triplet Logan Huffman, which included carving their marriage vows, in the Runic language, into the stump of a “Californian coastal oak”.
Which sounds like an elaborate feature to include in your big day. But actually that’s only the beginning.
Huffman detailed the elaborate and intricate multifaith ceremony and pre-ceremony, in a lengthy Instagram post.
He said the “pre ceremony” involved showing respect to traditional owners of the land “on which they wed”, calling the blessing they received a "high honour”.
Their ceremony was led by a “high priestess” who talked them through the “similarities between Christ and Buddha”.
The ceremony also included a traditional Roman Catholic prayer, a reading of the couple’s favourite Shinto love tales and a Native American marriage blessing from the Apache tradition, read by one of Huffman’s brothers.
Jess then recited a Hindi prayer to Ganesh — the remover of obstacles.
“My advice to any lovers is to make your wedding day your own,” Huffman wrote on Instagram following the wedding. “There is no wrong way to love or worship. As long as it comes from the heart.”
JESS FEUDS WITH RUBY ROSE OVER INSTAGRAM
At the wedding, Jess, who had recently split from her Hollywood actor partner Ruby Rose, posed in the garden with LA musician Kai Carlton.
Seven months after her break-up from Rose, the picture showed her and Kai together for the first time. Rose and Jess had reportedly had an on-again-off-again relationship for close to a decade.
Rose commented on the photo, “Congratulations, so happy for you both.”
But Jess, who had been posting passages from self help books on her social media accounts in the weeks before the event, accused Rose of harassing her.
“I have requested you not contact me for over four months now,” Jess wrote on Instagram.
“You have been given my grace of being ignored on every other private platform, so the fact you continue to ignore this to contact me here publicly under the guise of wishing me well, is continued harassment.”
Rose, who plays Kate Kane in the new show CW series Batwoman, responded to the comments, saying it was “news” to her.
Earlier this year, Jess spoke out about the relationship again, saying in an interview it was “a very complex relationship”.
“I’m still trying to come to terms with the reality of it every day so it’s really hard to explain to anybody,” Jess told the Kyle and Jackie O Show in March.
“At the end of the day I think the most important thing to remember is that we’re all human beings, people have their struggles, people have their inner demons people have their own stuff going on,” Jess said.
“For me, it was time to leave that situation and be as happy and healthy as I deserve to be.”
Originally published as ‘Awful’ experience of being The Veronicas