Sunday 21 April 2019

Bannon's ex-wife has lifetime Aer Lingus ban after air rage bust-up

Diane Clohesy from Limerick
Diane Clohesy from Limerick

The Irish ex-wife of Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon was banned for life from flying with Aer Lingus after an air rage incident in 2002.

Diane Clohesy, a former Rose of Tralee contestant from Limerick, was 32 years old when she was fined €1,000 for an assault on an Aer Lingus cabin crew member after she was refused alcohol on board a transatlantic flight in December of that year.

She was also fined €250 after pleading guilty to engaging in insulting behaviour, and ordered to pay €800 in costs.

Ms Clohesy had emigrated to the United States in her early 20s after her entry into the Rose of Tralee competition in 1990, and began studying at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology aged 24.

Ms Clohesy, who was also a model, was the third wife of Steve Bannon until their divorce in 2009.

Mr Bannon is now Mr Trump's right-hand man in the White House.

His rise to such a position of power has led to revelations about his past relationships, which include information that Ms Clohesy (46) has suffered personal problems as a result of addictions.

A Miami man twice accused her of domestic violence in 2009. Following a physical row that March, Ms Clohesy was arrested and ordered by a judge to stay away from the man, but court records show prosecutors ultimately dismissed the charge.

The pair apparently patched things up, but only two weeks later the man filed for a restraining order, saying Ms Clohesy had smashed a bottle on his head in a drunken rage.

Again, the case was dismissed when the man failed to show up in court.


After their divorce, Mr Bannon reportedly continued to pay for Ms Clohesy's housing, but did not live with her.

It was during this time that Ms Clohesy was caught trying to smuggle contraband to an inmate at the Miami-Dade jail.

Searchers at the jail kept turning up phones in 2012, and detectives suspected a number of correctional officers were responsible.

For weeks, detectives followed a prison employee and found him meeting Ms Clohesy.

She was seen handing him a mobile phone and an envelope of marijuana to pass on to an inmate.

Ms Clohesy was never charged in the case after an investigation.

Her brother, Declan, has told one newspaper in the US that Mr Bannon helped his sister through her battles with substance abuse and mental illness.

"My sister Diane is one of millions of Americans that suffer from drug and alcohol abuse and depression. The family can't thank him [Steve] enough," he said.

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