More than a week after blogger and actress Rosey Blair documented what she interpreted as a budding romance between the two people sitting in front of her on an airplane—in what quickly became viral shitshow known as #PlaneBae—the anonymous woman who unknowingly became the star of the story has spoken out, begging the world to leave her the fuck alone.
In Blair's now-deleted Twitter thread—which garnered so much attention it was the subject of a Today Show segment—she chronicled the flirtation between the anonymous woman (who the morning show identified as "Helen") and a former soccer player named Euan Holden. While the voyeurs of the internet were initially charmed by the story, it quickly turned dark after she asked not to be named, and was subsequently doxxed, with Blair encouraging her "sneaky" followers to find Helen on social media. After a glut of backlash about all the ways in which the #PlaneBae thread violated Helen's privacy, Blair apologized and Helen has spoken out.
"Without my knowledge or consent, other passengers... posted images and recordings to social media, and speculated unfairly about my private conduct," the woman told Business Insider. "Since then, my personal information has been widely distributed online. Strangers publicly discussed my private life based on patently false information."
She also stated that she has been "doxxed, shamed, insulted and harassed" and that "voyeurs have come looking for [her] online and in the real world."
She noted that she "did not ask for and do not seek attention," and that spectators shouldn't look at her story like a romance. Instead, she reasoned, "it is a digital-age cautionary tale about privacy, identity, ethics and consent." She ended her statement by asking people, "Please continue to respect my privacy, and my desire to remain anonymous.
No one deserves to have their privacy invaded like that. The internet is a filthy, craven place, and what #PlaneBae shows us is that this poor woman has the right idea in her longing to stay the fuck out of it.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.