A flight between Paris and Dublin was delayed for nearly two hours after the actor Gerard Depardieu urinated in the passenger aisle of the aeroplane before take-off, according to one of the passengers on board.
"Mr Depardieu got up saying 'je veux pisser, je veux pisser' – in those exact terms," the passenger, identified only as Danièle, told the French radio station Europe 1. The air hostess reportedly told Depardieu that he would have to wait 15 minutes, until the plane had taken off. But, it seems, he was not prepared to wait.
"He said, 'I cannot wait', he stood up and did it on the floor," Danièle said. "It was clear that he had been drinking."
The airline, City Jet, did not confirm the passenger's identity for privacy reasons, but spokeswoman Karen Gillo confirmed that an incident had taken place on Tuesday evening.
"An incident occurred in which a passenger refused to remain in his seat as the aircraft was taxiing," she said. "He was taken off the plane along with his luggage."
She could not confirm whether the incident had involved urination. The passenger has not taken another flight with City Jet, but has not been banned from the airline, she said.
Depardieu's press secretary has not commented.
Flight AF5010 eventually left Charles de Gaulle airport for Dublin at 8.35pm, nearly two hours later.
The 62-year-old Depardieu has appeared in more than 150 films, including Jean de Florette and Cyrano de Bergerac. He is also the owner of several vineyards and a restaurant in the centre of Paris.
After a coronary bypass in 2000, Depardieu, a well-known bon viveur was told by doctors to cut down on his hectic schedule, and to forgo alcohol and tobacco and excess of all kind.
"Friends" of the "mortified" star said he had told them he was "absolutely not drunk" but had been caught short and forced to pee into an empty bottle as privately as possible.
When some urine spilled on the floor, Depardieu offered to clean it up himself, but the crew decided to turn round and taxi back to the terminal and have him escorted off the jet by the ground crew, they explained.
Six years ago, Depardieu seemed to be drunk in an interview on Tonight with Jonathan Ross. He slurred his speech, stubbed out a cigarette on the floor and claimed he drank between four and eight bottles of wine a day. But Depardieu later claimed the incident was set up in advance as a joke and that he'd been sober.
Last September, Depardieu told an Austrian newspaper that the French actress Juliette Binoche was an actress who had "absolutely nothing".
"Please can you explain to me what the secret of this actress is meant to be? I would really like to know why she has been so esteemed for so many years," he said. Binoche said she was baffled by the comments and some commentators have surmised that Depardieu, who plays Obelix in the Asterix movies, had been drinking at the time of the comments.Reuse content