Steven Slater—the JetBlue flight attendant who became a national treasure by quitting his job in a blaze of pissed-off, flamboyantly gay glory—has broken his silence. All the latest details on our hero and his plight.
• Good Morning America made an aggressive play for Slater's first interview. After persons unknown paid Slater's $2500 bail last night, this happened:
When he got into a silver livery van outside the jail's gates, two producers from ABC's "Good Morning America" hopped in, too. But they were let off a block away, saying Slater had kicked them out.
Unfortunately, the New York Post reports Slater's livery driver "suddenly freaked out amid the media circus" and kicked our jail-weary hero out of the car, too.
• He has a good sense of humor. After getting kicked out of the car, a paparazzo jokingly asked if Slater had forgotten something. "My dignity," he deadpanned. "The food was too good." They can't all be dramatic exits.
• NBC News also made a play for the exclusive. NBC News correspondent Jeff Rossen tweeted that he scored Slater's first "exclusive": A 20-second interaction with him in a parking garage, in which Slater says he's "a little overwhelmed." Weak sauce, Rossen.
• Until he stepped out of jail, he didn't realize how famous he was. "I knew there was a brouhaha about this, but while I was on the inside I didn't realize how much attention it got," he told the New York Daily News.
• He has 125,000 fans on Facebook. An unknown Slater enthusiast started a fan page for him, and it's already bursting at the edges. Someone else started a Steven Slater Legal Defense Fund that has raised a few thousand dollars.
• He claims he didn't swear on the plane intercom. Slater says he excoriated neither the "the fucking asshole that told me to fuck off" nor "the fucking motherfucker that told me to fuck off." He claims his pre-inflatable-slide words were, "To those who have shown dignity and respect these last 20 years, thanks for the great ride."
• His dramatic exit was a long-held fantasy. Slater told the New York Times that telling a passenger off via intercom and exiting an aircraft via giant inflatable slide had been his secret fantasy for as long as he'd worked in airline hospitality: "For 20 years, I thought about it. But you never think you're going to do it."
• His mom says Steven is a good boy at heart. "I can understand why he snapped. I would have snapped, too," said Diane Slater, who lives in Thousand Oaks, California. "I think he just had a very small meltdown, and I think he deserved to be able to have that meltdown."
• 'The Ballad of Steven Slater' Is the New 'We Are the World' Have you heard Steven Slater's theme song? It goes a little something like this:
• He thanks you for your support. All the well-wishes are "neat," says Slater. "It's been very, very appreciated. It seems like something here has resonated with people."
• His next move: A vacation. Now that he's unemployed, Steven looks forward to "a little down time, a little beach time, enjoying the rest of the summer."
Flight Attendant Uses Inflatable Slide for Dramatic Job Walk-Out
Cranky Flight Attendant Was Banging His Boyfriend When the Cops Showed Up
JetBlue Flight Attendant Steven Slater Is a Free Man
Share Your Most Spectacular 'I Quit' Stories
'Wing Nut' Has Major Baggage [NYPost]
JetBlue Flight Attendant Emerges From Jail, Basks in New Status As Celebrity [NYDN]
Hero or 'Bag Nazi'? JetBlue Flight Attendant Plans to Hit the Beach [ABC]
NBC News Talks to Steven Slater, America's New Favorite Flight Attendant [TVNewser]
Facebook Fans Raise Thousands of Dollars for JetBlue Flight Attendant [NYDN]
Steven Slater [Facebook]
Steven Slater Legal Defense Fund [Facebook]