Published January 18, 2012
The widow of a man on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after being hijacked on 9/11, blasted actor Mark Wahlberg for saying he would have thwarted the terrorists if he had been on one of the four hijacked planes.
Mark Wahlberg, who has since apologized, was being interviewed for the February issue of Men’s Journal when he said he would have saved the plane. The star of "Contraband" and several friends had been booked on Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles, which crashed into the World Trade Center, but they changed their reservations when plans changed.
“If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn’t have went down like it did,” Wahlberg said. “There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, ‘OK, we’re going to land somewhere safely, don’t worry.’”
Deena Burnett-Bailey's husband Thomas Burnett phoned her from the doomed Flight 93, saying, "I know we're going to die. There's three of us who are going to do something about it." The flight from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco crashed, killing all on board.
Burnett-Bailey told TMZ: "Does Mark Wahlberg have a pilot's license? Then I think hindsight is 20/20 and it's insignificant to say what you would have done if you weren't there. The plan for Flight 93 was foiled by heroes. For him to speculate that his presence on board could have stopped everything is silly and disrespectful."
Wahlberg was quick to issue an apology after hearing of Burnett-Bailey's outrage.
"I deeply apologize to the families of the victims that my answer came off as insensitive, it was certainly not my intention," he told TMZ. "To suggest I would have done anything differently than the passengers on that plane was irresponsible."
Wahlberg, whose Hollywood bachelor lifestyle was the inspiration for HBO’s “Entourage,” also said in Men's Journal that he has changed his attitude towards life since having children and getting married to longtime girlfriend Rhea Durham in 2009.
“Yeah, a lot of people I thought were my friends were disappointed that I decided to settle down and don’t take them on whirlwind tours of craziness anymore,” Wahlberg told Men’s Journal. “When I was the life of the party, I definitely wanted to bring as many people along for the ride as possible. But sooner or later, you find out who your friends are."
Wahlberg, 40, said he's grown up a lot since then.
"Because of Entourage, people think that my life is just a big, wild party. And it is. But these days it’s a big, wild Halloween party or Easter egg party," he explained. I don’t go out at night anymore. I don’t hang around with the guys. I don’t really play golf. I stopped smoking cigarettes. I stopped smoking pot a lot of years ago, too. I’m focused on my family, my faith, and my work.”