Former Miss Venezuela Carmen Maria Montiel is suing United Airlines for allegedly being handcuffed while on a flight in 2013.
The beauty queen, who won her title in 1984, said officials restrained her with zip-ties and took her to the back of the plane for arguing with her now ex-husband.
According to Montiel, 54, she tried to rest on her ex's shoulder and was surprised when the man, Alex Lechin, slapped her and then told a flight steward, Samuel Oliver, that she was "invading his personal space."
Oliver, who said he felt threatened, claimed Montiel was drunk and tried to assault him, assertions the beauty queen denies. She was moved to a different area in first class, but after her ex continued to complain that she was bothering him, Montiel was taken to economy class and placed next to an off-duty officer.
The woman, who was taken to court but found not guilty of interference with a flight attendant, said she was inspired to speak out after seeing the viral footage of Dr. Dao being removed from the plane.
“It’s about the culture of United,” Montiel told the New York Post. "They treat the customer as the enemy.”
She is seeking damages from United Airlines for mental anguish, malicious prosecution and defamation.