Fat-shamed Adele fan gets second chance

Leisa Bennett (second from left) with (from left to right) her sisters Rebecca and Ellen, and friend Jamie.
Leisa Bennett (second from left) with (from left to right) her sisters Rebecca and Ellen, and friend Jamie.

A BRISBANE woman who was fat-shamed, assaulted and abused while watching Adele perform at the Gabba on Sunday night will get a second chance to see the UK superstar perform.

Victoria Point resident Leisa Bennett, who is a size 22, wrote an open letter on Facebook about her ugly experience and how she missed half the concert at the Gabba after an altercation with a female sitting next to her.

Ms Bennett's said she has been "overwhelmed" by the response which culminated in 97.3FM's breakfast team, Bianca, Terry and Bob, giving her two tickets, including flights, to see Adele perform at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium on March 19.

"I am very humbled by all this support," Ms Bennett told The Courier-Mail.

"This has meant so much to me, and not just for me, but for all the stories that I've heard from people who have been fat-shamed. I started up a Facebook page 'Unashamed' to say that it's not alright for people to be abused."

Ms Bennett, who attended the Adele concert at the Gabba with her friend Jamie Tatterton, claimed a woman sitting next her started arm stretching and dress waving.

By the time Adele launched into her fifth song Rumour Has It, the lady launched into Ms Bennett with a tirade of abuse.

It would be another 45 minutes before Ms Bennett was relocated and able to view the concert in safety.

"She was middle-aged and she was squirming around … I was thinking about her discomfort and how can I make her more comfortable because she kept flapping her dress around and asked me to stand up so she could seat herself," Ms Bennett said.

"She was almost stretching in to my face continually and there were deliberate elbow nudges and that's when I thought this isn't right now, she's actually assaulting me.

"I asked her to stop elbowing me and that's when she cut loose and started yelling ion my face, threatening me and calling me stuff."

Ms Bennett's troubles would have been avoided had the woman she clashed with accepted her generous offer to swap seats with her sisters, Rebecca and Ellen, who were closer to the stage at ground level.

Ms Bennett only bought her $233 ticket the previous night after listening to Saturday's show from outside the venue.

Instead of relaying her experience to her sisters on the way home, Ms Bennett said she wrote about her incident on Facebook and she has had an outpouring of support.

In five weeks' time, Ms Bennett will have a gastric sleeve operation and hopes that will put an end to her being fat-shamed in public although she said no one should ever be treated like she was.

Topics:  adele brisbane editors picks

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