Irish rugby captain Brian O'Driscoll was forcibly restrained by a security man working for US rock band Kings of Leon at the Oxegen music festival earlier this month.
The Sunday Tribune has learned that the incident on 11 July was the result of a misunderstanding between O'Driscoll and security men. It took place on a viewing platform at the side of the stage where Kings of Leon were performing.
The disturbance, which was witnessed by music fans, led to O'Driscoll (30) being asked to leave the viewing platform with his fiancée, actress and novelist Amy Huberman, who looked visibly upset.
A witness who saw the incident said: "It happened when Kings of Leon were playing their first song. Brian was up on the viewing platform with Amy and some friends. It was pretty obvious Brian was a huge fan of the band and had been looking forward to Kings of Leon playing. When they began performing he started rocking along to the music like any fan would."
However, O'Driscoll's high spirits led to him accidentally bumping into an unknown woman on the same platform, who was either a friend or girlfriend of one of the members of Kings of Leon.
The witness continued: "A security man working with Kings of Leon misread a genuine accident and not recognising Brian as the captain of the Irish rugby team, moved in. He grabbed Brian and put his arms behind his back in a lock. Another security man working with the band stepped in and stopped Brian's friends intervening on his behalf. The security removed Brian from the viewing platform with Amy following behind looking very upset. The whole thing was a misunderstanding. Brian had only been behaving like a fan."
Joanne Byrne of Presence PR, speaking on behalf of Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman's behalf, said: "It did happen. It was just one of those things. Kings of Leon were headlining and he [Brian] is a massive Kings of Leon fan.
"He was just enjoying himself. Obviously Kings of Leon security didn't know who Brian was and took it badly. I think they thought he was being too boisterous – he wasn't. He was just enjoying the gig."
A spokesman for Kings of Leon refused to comment.
'Obviously Kings of Leon security didn't know who Brian was.'
Silly silly security men. They didn't need to know who he was. He was on a special viewing platform after all, obviously reserved only for special people. Anyone who would be 'too boisterous' would never be up there in the first place. Poor Brian. I'm only surprised he didn't have his own security team with him, so that his people could talk to their people etc. Maybe there was no room on the special viewing platform.