How A Simple Plane Ride Made My Older Man Crazy Jealous

Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva

I would lie awake in my pre­vi­ous mar­riage and imag­ine that a rich, hand­some man sport­ing a pri­vate jet would fly in to res­cue me. And then, indeed, a wealthy man with his own jet did res­cue me: my Stet­son man. But I never imag­ined that the plane would cause jeal­ousy between the two of us. And yet, that is exactly what hap­pened in the first year of our relationship.

In the begin­ning of our getting-to-know-one-another, I was not allowed to fly on his plane because his wife had the abil­ity to view the flight man­i­fests. She had access to all the flight infor­ma­tion, includ­ing the plane’s des­ti­na­tion, the pas­sen­gers on board, and even where the await­ing lim­ou­sine deliv­ered him. There­fore, to be incog­nito for our trysts, I had to fly com­mer­cial. And, although I was able to fly first class, I still felt sec­ond class.

There was one time early in our rela­tion­ship when he char­tered a plane because his fam­ily was using his per­sonal plane. This was in the begin­ning when there was still so much new­ness, and he would lav­ish me with all the things money could buy. Since he had flown on a plane that his wife was not able to access info on, he was very anx­ious to share this lux­ury with me. He asked me if I would like to fly to my sister’s home in another state, clear across the coun­try. I did not want to appear like a gold dig­ger, so to speak, so I opted out and chose instead to stay at the hotel and have din­ner. My divorce was not final and I wasn’t sure how I could explain this scene to my sis­ter. In the end, though, he did per­suade me to can­cel my own travel arrange­ments and fly to the next des­ti­na­tion with him on the char­tered flight.

I was excited to be a part of this world with him. I remem­ber that I kept look­ing at my watch and anx­iously think­ing we would be late for our flight. He laughed and told me they cer­tainly would not leave with­out him, that he was the rea­son for the flight. As you can imag­ine, I felt a bit silly. I was used to my travel arrange­ments being sched­uled accord­ing to a com­mer­cial flight. I learned very quickly that char­tered flights are not at all like com­mer­cial flights, whose doors would shut just fine with­out me mak­ing it to the flight on time.

Our lim­ou­sine trav­eled through a set of gates and right up to the plane. When we arrived, the pilots retrieved our lug­gage, and we walked up the steps of the plane. There was no secu­rity to go through. There was no strip search or tak­ing off belts and shoes. And, after only a few min­utes, we were seated in our chairs and tak­ing off. We turned our chairs to face one another and the flight seemed to go by too quickly. We talked about a lot. Now that I had flown with him and I was aware of the con­ve­nience he had, I was envi­ous and felt sec­ond class. He was jeal­ous of the atten­tion he imag­ined I received when I was in major air­ports, with all the busi­ness­men everywhere.

No mat­ter how much money and sta­tus the Stet­son man had achieved, he still had inse­cu­ri­ties where I was con­cerned. The Stet­son man would demand infor­ma­tion from me each time we met. Who did I talk to? Who hit on me? Did I wait for the plane in the bar? I grew tired of being inter­ro­gated each week—it was his choice to remain mar­ried. After one such inter­ro­ga­tion, I had a con­ver­sa­tion with him. Up until this point, he’d had no idea how I felt about him, or the truth about com­mer­cial plane travel. He soon found out what the aver­age per­son expe­ri­ences at the air­port. After this, we decided to fly over­seas with another couple.

This was our first com­mer­cial flight together. We met at the air­port, and it was clear that he’d lit­er­ally not flown com­mer­cial in some time—he didn’t even seem to be aware of air­port secu­rity. Once we finally started through the ID/boarding pass check­point, the lady check­ing our IDs took my pass­port and my board­ing pass. She stared intently at me, and then shifted her gaze to the Stet­son man. When he handed his pass­port to her, she said, “She must be from Texas, with all that hair and jew­elry.” And when the lady with us handed over her pass­port, the secu­rity lady said, “And I hope that is her grand­fa­ther and not her hus­band!” We all chuck­led. I was used to those kinds of com­ments. How­ever, I think the men were taken aback. The Stet­son man attempted to go through secu­rity with his pocket knife, which, of course sent up red flags. The Stet­son man didn’t care much for get­ting nearly strip searched. He was finally cleared, but then ended up mail­ing his knife to him­self from the air­port. In order to do this, he had to leave the secu­rity area and then endure the secu­rity process all over again. He was sim­ply lost with secu­rity pro­ce­dures. When we finally man­aged to get to our seats, he told me he appre­ci­ated me doing this three or four times a week for him.

As you can see, the two worlds we came from often col­lided in our rela­tion­ship, even up in the air.