HOUSTON (Aug. 6) - A jury was seated Wednesday in a lawsuit alleging the wife of nationally known pastor Joel Osteen assaulted a flight attendant.
Opening statements were set for Thursday in a case Victoria Osteen's lawyer called "silly." But Reginald McKamie, attorney for Continental Airlines flight attendant Sharon Brown, said he hopes the trial will show "that celebrity status doesn't take precedence."
Brown accuses Victoria Osteen of assaulting her before the start of a 2005 flight from Houston to Vail, Colo. Brown alleges Victoria Osteen threw her against a bathroom door and elbowed her in the left breast during an angry outburst over a stain on her first-class seat. The Federal Aviation Administration fined Victoria Osteen $3,000 for interfering with a crew member.
Joel Osteen was at his wife's side Wednesday in court. McKamie said he expected to call the couple as witnesses.
Joel Osteen preaches at Lakewood Church, a Houston megachurch where about 42,000 people flock each week and where Victoria Osteen is co-pastor. His weekly television address is broadcast nationally and internationally.
Some potential jurors during questioning admitted to being star-struck by the Osteens and that their respect for them might affect their judgment.
"He has gotten me through a lot of tough times. I would believe what he has to say. I have a lot of respect for him," one female in the jury pool said.
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