Mon, Sep 19, 2011 - Page 13 News List

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When Gerard Depardieu has to go, he goes.

Photo: AFP

French film star Gerard Depardieu said he had no choice but to relieve himself into a bottle on a plane last month after a flight attendant blocked the bathroom door, insisting “I’m not a monster.”

In a daytime talk show interview last Tuesday with Anderson Cooper — who had broken into a giggling fit over the incident on his prime-time CNN news show — France’s best-known movie star admitted the bottle was not up to the task.

He explained via satellite from Dublin that he tried to use the lavatory on board the Paris-to-Dublin flight before takeoff but that the flight attendant “blocked the door with her foot” and ordered him to return to his seat.

“I say: ‘Madam, I have a lot of pee. I have to go pee. It’s hurt me,’” a laughing Depardieu recalled. “I’m not a terrorist, I just want to pee.”

After the flight attendant again refused, he borrowed an empty bottle from a friend and relieved himself. “It was so beautiful, you know. It’s very hurt,” the French actor said in English.

“I’m not a monster. I’m just a man who wants to pee ... I don’t understand why she blocked the door.”

He said her outrage grew when the bottle overflowed.

“The bottle was too small, you know. I am an elephant ... I said: ‘Don’t worry, I will clean it up.’”

By then other passengers had gathered around with camera phones, and the plane soon taxied back to the terminal, where Depardieu was escorted off by the ground crew without incident.

When Cooper asked if “any wine was involved,” Depardieu said no.

Cooper, a CNN host who often reports from conflict zones, broke down into a fit of laughter during a light-hearted segment on his news show a few weeks ago after reciting a series of groan-worthy puns about the Depardieu incident. Cooper has since launched his own daytime talk show.

Depardieu is perhaps the best known face in French cinema, having appeared in almost 200 films, and is best known abroad as the star of the 1990 literary epic Cyrano de Bergerac and the US romantic comedy Green Card.

Amy Winehouse’s father also ran into trouble trying to convince a celebrity to follow the rules. He says the fight to get his daughter off drugs often turned physical, as he tussled with the drug dealers and gangsters who were supplying her with them.

“I spent my time fighting with drug dealers, and I mean proper fighting,” Mitch Winehouse said in an interview on Tuesday. “And I’m a middle-aged man, who is overweight, having fistfights with people.”

Winehouse said his daughter finally budged once she saw how hurt her family was: “She witnessed all this stuff going on, of how her family and her friends were fighting gangsters and she decided she didn’t want to put her family in that position anymore.”

Amy Winehouse, who had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, was found dead at her London home on July 23. Her father is launching The Amy Winehouse Foundation on Wednesday, which would’ve been the singer’s 28th birthday.

Mitch Winehouse said there were some negative influences in the group that surrounded Amy. He said he was naive about her drug use early on.

“I didn’t know the extent of her problem until maybe four months before she decided to quit,” he said.

The father — who has been doing interviews and has appeared on TV to talk about the US launch of the foundation — said talking about his daughter is “very hard,” but it “is helping us deal with our grief.” He made various appearances with Amy’s mother, Janis; his current wife, Jane; and Amy’s last boyfriend, Reg Traviss.

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