A DJ who masturbated in front of passengers on a flight after admitting to drinking copious amounts of alcohol has threatened to sue the Sunday Tribune for damaging his reputation.
Neil Prendeville, a €150,000-a-year DJ on Cork's UTV/96FM, claims he has no recollection of the events of 19 October when he exposed himself and masturbated in front of shocked staff and passengers on an Aer Lingus flight from London to Cork.
Last week, this newspaper revealed inconsistencies in the story of the 49-year-old married father of two who claimed he had no recollection of events leading up to the lewd public act.
Prendeville said he remembered nothing after leaving a London restaurant to go to the airport because he had mixed painkillers and alcohol. However, his friend and solicitor Gerald Kean gave a radio interview in which he revealed further details of what occurred prior to the airplane sex act.
We reported that gardaí would quiz the DJ about these apparent inconsistencies.
This prompted Kean, the controversial solicitor to the stars and a convicted drink driver, to send a legal letter to this newspaper last week on his own behalf and on behalf of Prendeville.
In his legal threat on behalf of Prendeville, Kean wrote that the DJ "is concerned as a result of this article, which is misleading and factually incorrect".
Kean added that his client was "hurt and suffering" over the Sunday Tribune report and said he was "deeply upset by it".
The letter does not mention the traumatised passengers and Aer Lingus staff who were subjected to the indecent exposure, with such incidents being described by the Rape Crisis Network as "sexually harmful behaviour and as a crime".
Kean claimed any future defence by Prendeville in court could be "jeopardised in view of the extensive publication of information which is misleading and wrong". The DJ has publically stated he will not be defending any future legal proceedings.
Prendeville's solicitor requested that the Sunday Tribune contact him by last Friday about our "proposals… as to how you intend dealing with the serious problems that have arisen in this case, otherwise the matter will be placed into the hands of solicitors".
In response, this newspaper stood by the story and said it would vigourously defend any legal action taken by Prendeville.
In his letter, Kean claimed Prendeville "has no recollection of having a drink at the airport and in fact remembers nothing about his arrival and departure from the said airport".
However, in one of his extensive rounds of interviews to favoured media outlets last week, Prendeville revealed he had taken painkillers mixed with three pints of Guinness, three bottles of beer and a large amount of wine.
His trip to London – where he was hosted at Richard Corrigan's restaurant Bentley's – was supposed to promote tourism in Cork but descended into a lengthy drinking session.
He said: "We were at the airport early in Cork and I had three pints of Guinness. I then had two small bottles of wine on the plane and three bottles of Stella in the restaurant along with more wine. I had not eaten all day – I don't eat carbs and I have had a rapid weight-loss. The food was coming out as we were leaving the restaurant."
Gerald Kean claims to have spoken to an unnamed member of An Garda Siochána who told him there would be no investigation into Prendeville's recollection of events.
However, it is understood that gardaí will quiz him about his version of events before deciding if he should be prosecuted for public indecency or a more serious charge.