Standup comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked earlier this month while performing at the Hollywood Bowl as part of the Netflix is a Joke comedy festival. The accused assaulter named Isaiah Lee stormed the stage, slamming the comic to the ground before being apprehended and escorted backstage by security.
Chappelle was unharmed, but Lee was left with a fractured arm and two black eyes after being beaten up by security and had to be whisked away by an ambulance when the event was over. Weeks after the incident, Lee has now revealed his motivation for hitting the comic, which appears to be different from what Chappelle said moments after the confrontation.
Read below for more details.
Isaiah Lee Claims That Dave Chappelle Triggered Him With His Jokes
In an interview with NYP, Lee, who identifies as bisexual, cited that the comedian’s slew of jokes about the LGBTQ community was “triggering,” which spawned his actions during the comedy show.
“I identify as bisexual … and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering,” Lee told the news publication. “I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect.”
At the event, Chappelle also cracked some jokes about homelessness. Lee would further describe that this did not go down well with him, adding that he is a single dad with a 5-year-old son and found his situation to be far more than he could handle.
“It’s a struggle and I wanted Dave Chappelle to know it’s not a joke,” he added.
Following his treatment for the injuries sustained after being pummeled by security at the event, Lee has been kept in detention in a Los Angeles jail pending the court’s decision on his case, which is yet to come before the court.
Lee Statements Contradicts What Chappelle Said
In a comedy gig days after the incident, Chappelle said Lee informed him he planned the attack to bring attention to his grandmother, who is being pushed out of her community due to wealthier people moving in and displacing the current inhabitants.
However, as Lee discussed his reasons for tackling the comedian, he poked holes of doubts into what Chappelle had stated at the show, revealing a different tale about what happened in his backstage conversation with the comedian after the altercation.
“I told him my mother and grandmother, who fought for his civil rights to be able to speak, would be upset at the things he said,” Lee revealed, to which Chappelle had allegedly retorted, “Now your story will die with you, son.”
Lee then stated his disagreement with Chappelle’s scathing remark saying, “But he’s wrong, I’m sitting here talking about it,” further alluding that he won’t be stopping his comments about the comedian any time soon.
More Troubles For Lee
From his statement, it’s unclear whether Lee is speaking the truth about his motivations, but one thing is certain: his story has already garnered him a good amount of support as the court case progresses.
This, however, might not be enough to save him, not only because his case would be determined entirely by the law but also because his prior legal battles had already complicated things. The 23-year-old was earlier charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of a roommate back in December and has yet to receive judgment on the case.
Now his Chapelle ordeal has caused four more misdemeanor charges to be added to his legal file. Two for battery and for possessing a deadly weapon with intent to assault, another for unauthorized access to the stage area while performance was on, and yet another, due to his actions causing a long delay at the event or interrupting the performer.
Dave Chappelle Joked About The Incident
Meanwhile, despite getting backlash about his jokes and getting assaulted also, Chapelle seems to have taken everything in stride, as he has not revealed any information about feeling traumatized by the ordeal in his recent shows.
He was rather seen bonding with comedian Chris Rock over their onstage attacks at a “secret” comedy show in Los Angeles.
“At least you got smacked by someone of repute!” Chappelle told Rock. “I got smacked by a homeless guy with leaves in his hair.”
Rock jokingly retorted: “I got smacked by the softest n—a that ever rapped.”
In the long run, the future is looking a bit bleak for Lee as he might be expected to spend a good number of years in jail if found guilty. On the other hand, Chappelle may make an appearance in court in the coming days due to the altercation, but this has yet to be confirmed by the comedian.
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