Thorbjorn Olesen issues apology after golf star cleared of sexual assault on jet

Golf star Thorbjorn Olesen wept in court and hugged his partner as he was cleared of groping a woman on a transatlantic flight after taking sleeping pills and booze.

The Dane, 31 — who helped Europe win the Ryder Cup in 2018 — said Ambien pills Lauren Zafer bought online and left in his washbag turned him into an ‘automaton’.

He said he had hoped to sleep through the eight-hour Nashville to Heathrow flight in July 2019, after ‘an exhausting playing schedule’ — including The Open.

Olesen had drunk champagne, vodka and wine and taken melanin tablets to combat jet lag before flying back with other golf pros, including England’s Ian Poulter, 45, and Justin Rose, 41.

Witnesses said he ran around the cabin ‘like a little boy’, got trapped in the toilet and verbally abused cabin crew.

He was accused of groping a woman before crying as he fell asleep — then urinating on a seat and an aisle. But a jury deliberated for less than an hour after the three-day trial before clearing him of sexual assault and assault yesterday.

A judge at Aldersgate House Nightingale court, central London, then discharged a count of being drunk on an aircraft.

In a statement issued after the verdict, Olesen said he could not remember anything after take-off but was ‘embarrassed and ashamed’ at what happened.

‘I want to apologise wholeheartedly to everyone on board the flight who was affected by my behaviour,’ he said.

‘My behaviour was completely out of character and nothing like this has ever happened to me before or since.’

The star — who was initially suspended and lost sponsor deals — insisted: ‘I have paid a very heavy price for my mistake.’

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