The man who went viral after he was captured on video using racist language toward a seatmate on a Ryanair flight is claiming he is “not a racist,” and he has apologized for his behavior.
David Mesher told ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” on Friday he regretted the words he used toward passenger Delsie Gayle. Mesher said he “probably” lost his “temper a bit” when he asked Gayle to move so he could get to the window seat.
“I had to get to the window seat and I said, ‘I’ve got to get to the window seat,’ and there didn’t seem to be any response,” Mesher explained. “And then I asked her again, I said ‘I have to get to the window seat,’ and she didn’t seem to want to get up or didn’t seem to, and then I probably lost my temper a bit and ordered her to get up.”
Mesher and Gayle were on a flight from Barcelona to London on Oct. 19. A viral video, shared by U.K. resident David Lawrence, showed Mesher using vulgar language toward Gayle.
"Don’t talk to me in a f---ing foreign language, you stupid ugly cow,” he said. Later, he called her an “ugly black bastard.”
When asked if he regretted the words he used, Mesher said, “Oh, absolutely.”
“I’m not a racist person by any means and it’s just a fit of temper at the time, I think,” he continued.
Mesher said if he had the chance to talk to Gayle he said he would apologize for “all the distress you’ve had there and since.”
Gayle also appeared on “Good Morning Britain” along with her daughter Carol Gayle, who was also on the flight. Gayle rejected Mesher’s apology.
"I don't think so. You must forget and forgive but it's going to take a long time for me to get over what he has done to me,” Gayle said when asked if she accepted his apology.
Gayle said she has had trouble eating and sleeping since the incident.
"I was so depressed, I was just shaking and all I've been doing is just crying, been crying, crying, crying. I can't sleep,” she said.
Following the incident, Ryanair was criticized for not removing Mesher from the flight. In a statement to Fox News, the airline said it became aware of the viral video on Oct. 20 before it immediately reported it to police. Ryanair said it apologized to the female passenger for what happened and said police in Essex and Barcelona was investigating.
“We again extend our very sincere apologies to this passenger for the regrettable, and unacceptable remarks that were made to her by an adjacent passenger, and we believe that by reporting this matter immediately to the Essex Police and by apologizing in writing to this customer early on Sunday morning, Ryanair treated it with the urgency and seriousness it warranted,” Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said.
“We trust that this statement will address the inaccurate media coverage of this incident over recent days, and that the legal rights of both passengers will be respected, while the police services in Essex and Barcelona conduct their investigation of this matter, with Ryanair’s full cooperation and assistance.”
Fox News' Michael Bartiromo contributed to this report.