Isaiah Lee, the person who attacked comedian Dave Chappelle earlier this year, has been sentenced to almost nine months in prison. Chappelle has been the recipient of online backlash months after his 2021 Netflix comedy special, “The Closer,” aired. The comments that sparked controversy were those concerning the LGBTQ+ community.
Chappelle mainly talked about the transgender community in the special and revealed that he stood with controversial “Harry Potter” author J.K Rowling.
The Co CEO of Netflix, Ted Sarandos, went on to double down on his defense of Chappelle, leading to a walkout by several employees in the streaming giant. The special was reportedly what prompted the May attack from Lee.
Isaiah Lee Was Sentenced To 270 Days In Prison
According to People magazine, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office confirmed that Chappelle’s attacker had been sentenced to 270 days in prison. Lee’s sentencing comes after he pled no contest to a charge of entering a restricted area during a live event and a misdemeanor battery charge.
In August this year, the attacker’s Deputy Public Defender, Chelsea Padilla, asked that the court place her client in a mental health diversion program. This would have allowed Lee’s charges to be entirely dismissed, but it did not go forward. Prosecutors opposed the plea, and the judge rejected Padilla’s request.
During a comedic performance at the Netflix Is a Joke Festival in May, Lee attacked Chappelle mid-set. He was unable to do actual damage to the comedian before being apprehended by guards and fellow celebrities.
Isaiah Lee Attacked Dave Chappelle
The incident which occurred at the Hollywood Bowl saw the security personnel apprehend Lee before the police got to the scene. The attacker earned a charge for assault with a deadly weapon after he pointed his handgun replica, which had a knife blade, at Chappelle.
While Chappelle did not sustain any injuries, Lee suffered from minor issues which landed him in the hospital. He was later held on a $30,000 bond after his arrest. Witnesses at the scene described the incident as “unsettling” and confusing.
According to USA TODAY, Ahmed Ali, who was a part of the show, said, “it was crazy. There was a lot of confusion. I think we all thought, at first, that it was part of the show.” Ali revealed the incident occurred while Chappelle introduced artists Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli. The comedian was able to sidestep Lee’s attempt to tackle him before his security joined in.
The Reason For The Attack On Dave Chappelle
After the incident, Chappelle was seen joking that Lee was likely a “trans man.” This comment is a nod to the backlash thrown at the comedian after his controversial jokes at the expense of the transgender community during “The Closer,” his Netflix special.
After the comedian returned on stage, he apparently told the crowd that while he had been in the comedy business for a long time, this was his first time jumping someone backstage.
Lee opened up about his reason for the attack in a May interview with the New York Post. There he revealed that Chappelle’s set triggered him into confronting him. He, however, denied drawing a weapon while he approached the comedian.
“I identify as bisexual … and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering,” Lee explained. “I wanted him to know that next time; he should consider first running his material by people it could affect.”
Isaiah Lee Stabbed His Roommate
Besides his attack on Chappelle, Lee was also discovered to have allegedly stabbed his roommate in December last year. George Gasćon, the Los Angeles County District Attorney, filed the charges in May. The incident reportedly occurred while Lee was in a scuffle with his roommate at a transitional housing apartment.
Chappelle’s incident and the media attention it brought in reportedly allowed the victim to identify Lee as the person behind the assault he reported to the police earlier. Gasćon explained via a press release, “The publicity generated by the attack on Mr. Chappelle helped police solve this crime.”
“The incident that occurred at the Hollywood Bowl was misdemeanor conduct and rightfully referred to the City Attorney’s Office. Based on the nature and severity of the December attack, Mr. Lee is now facing felony charges which my office will prosecute.”