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TJ Holmes says he was accused of stealing woman’s phone on JetBlue flight

Former ABC anchor reveals he was accused by a woman of stealing her phone during JetBlue flight to Los Angeles

Meredith Clark
New York
Tuesday 30 April 2024 22:59 BST
Related: GMA anchor TJ Holmes makes first on-air appearance after ‘affair’ claims

TJ Holmes has revealed he was recently accused of stealing a stranger’s cell phone on a flight.

In an episode of the Amy & TJ podcast, the former GMA3: What You Need To Know anchor opened up about the bizarre experience he endured on a JetBlue flight. “I was just recently accused of stealing somebody’s cell phone on a flight,” Holmes told listeners during the 30 April podcast episode.

While flying to Los Angeles, California, with his partner and co-host Amy Robach, Holmes explained that a woman sitting four rows in front of them had claimed that he took her phone.

“I was using the bathroom up front that was right next to the cockpit, and I come out and the flight attendant’s standing there with this little old lady,” the ex ABC anchor explained, noting that the woman had “white, dirty blonde hair.”

Holmes recalled that the flight attendant had asked him if he noticed a phone inside the bathroom, as he replied: “Oh, no. I didn’t see anything.” He claimed that the passenger then “stepped towards” him and “gestures almost like she’s about to frisk [him]” before saying: “Oh, you don’t have it?”

“In front of the plane, flat out accuses me of taking her phone,” Holmes added.

At that point, Holmes explained that he “crouched down” toward the woman - who was a “short lady” - put his hands on his knees, and spoke to her at eye-level. He then confronted her, asking: “Ma’am, are you telling me I took your phone?”

While the passenger “ignored” Holmes, he acknowledged that the flight attendant was “overly apologetic” about the fiasco. The passenger returned to her seat, as Holmes stood four rows behind her and witnessed the woman find her phone stuck in her seat.

“She turns to me mortified and is screaming across the five rows, ‘I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry,’” he said, as Robach chimed in: “Sorry just doesn’t cut it at that point.”

TJ Holmes and Amy Robach recount their recent JetBlue flight to Los Angeles, California
TJ Holmes and Amy Robach recount their recent JetBlue flight to Los Angeles, California (Getty Images for iHeartRadio)

Holmes went on to admit that Robach has “witnessed” how he gets “treated differently” as a “Black man going through some of the same scenarios in life” as his podcasting co-host and partner, who is white.

“I have to be calm,” he explained. “If there weren’t more people around then I wouldn’t have bent down and been as assertive as I was because I wouldn’t have a witness that I wasn’t aggressive towards her.”

Last December, Holmes and Robach announced they were launching a podcast together with iHeartRadio. In the first podcast episode - which hit streaming platforms on 5 December 2023, exactly one year after they were taken off the air - the couple addressed rumours surrounding their relationship.

Holmes and Robach were removed from their on-air positions at GMA3 in December 2022 amid reports they were involved in a romantic relationship. At the time, the Daily Mail published photos of them on multiple outings and trips together. It was reported that Holmes had separated from his now ex-wife, Marilee Fiebig, in August that year, while Robach and her husband of 12 years, Andrew Shue, also broke up that same month.

Following reports of their alleged affair, ABC News president Kim Godwin made the executive decision to pull the GMA3 co-anchors off the air, as the network reportedly referred to their rumoured relationship as “an internal and external disruption”.

Weeks later, Holmes and Robach officially exited the network. “After several productive conversations with Amy Robach and TJ Holmes about different options, we all agreed it’s best for everyone that they move on from ABC News,” a spokesperson for ABC News told The Independent in January 2023. “We recognise their talent and commitment over the years and are thankful for their contributions.”

Holmes and Fiebig share a 10-year-old daughter, Sabine. The former couple finalised their divorce in October 2023 after 13 years of marriage. Meanwhile, Robach and Shue finalised their divorce in March 2023. She shares two daughters - Ava and Annalise - with ex-husband Tim McIntosh, whom she was married to from 1996 to 2009.

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