Senator claims wife’s disturbance on an Air Canada flight was ‘a joke’

·Politics Reporter

Remember the strange story of 23 year old Maygan Sensenberger and her husband, 69 year old Senator Rod Zimmer?

Sensenberger was arrested in late August after the crew of an Air Canada flight accused her of causing a ruckus, uttering threats against her husband and for threatening to take down the plane.

Well, apparently it was all a joke.

The doting couple were on CTV's Power Play with Don Martin on Tuesday, where they downplayed the whole affair.

"It was a non-issue," Zimmer said.

"If this had been a no-named person it would never have happened. And you know what it was a joke. We were joking."

When it happened, the story received international press coverage and was picked-up by the Daily Mail in the U.K., the New York Daily News in the United States, and as far away as Australia. In typical British tabloid fashion, the Daily Mail added some sizzle to the story by publishing some provocative photos from Sensenberger's personal Facebook page.

Sensenberger said she was initially upset about the international attention the story was getting and that "everything that was put on-line as was completely fabricated."

"That was surprising. People need to get lives," she said.

Even though they now claim that it was "a joke", the senator's wife pleaded guilty to causing a disturbance on a plane and received a one-year suspended sentence.

[ Related: Manitoba senator's wife pleads guilty over plane ruckus ]

Sensenberger also spoke to Martin about her fledgling acting career. The attractive native of Ontario has been cast as the head of state of North America who is the process of establishing world peace with an all female government.

Her husband, the long-time politico said he hasn't given his wife any advice about how to play a politician but supports her acting.

"100 per cent support. 100 per cent," he said.

"I always say when she walks into a room, either in fashion or in movies, I call Ontario Hydro, tell them to turn the power off because she brightens up the whole room. So absolutely and she is my hero."

Sensenberger's film is part of Ottawa's Digi60 film festival. Screenings of the festival's films will be held on December 8.

Was it really a joke?

You be the judge.

Here are edited pieces of the prosecution and defence's submissions in Ms. Sensenberger's court case as published by the Star Phoenix:

The prosecution's submission:

"Firstly, I'll just put forward Mr. Zimmer's understanding of what took place in regards to this conversation...He hadn't really wanted to take medication and says that (Sensenberger) had wanted him to go to emergency and deal with this issue and he was a little bit reluctant to do so ...

The conversation was about the importance of him going to a hospital and getting treatment, otherwise it might kill him, words to that effect, and she was saying things, 'Well if that if that doesn't kill you, the drugs don't kill you, I'll kill you, I'll slit your throat, I'll kick your ass around the corner.' That's what he said in the statement.

He refers to that as loving and endearing talk in terms of his perception of the situation. Others obviously didn't perceive it that way. And because of the context of this happening on a flight, it upset people."

The defence's submission:

"As his wife, she was very worried and had been wanting him to get aspects of his health...looked after. That wasn't happening and the argument ensued, and they were still arguing about it at the airport before they left Ottawa and they were arguing about it on the plane.

And she believed that he had had a heart attack while he was sitting on the plane.

...Now as it turned out, whatever happened, there were no obvious health issues that … needed to be attended to but she was significantly distraught.

And I think when we're in that kind of situation, distraught, have a few drinks in our system, you say and do things that you may not do in other circumstances."

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