Dave Chappelle's accused attacker claims he was "triggered" by the comedian's jokes but had no intention of harming him.
Isaiah Lee told the New York Post in an interview conducted Saturday at Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles that Chappelle's comments about the LGBTQ community and homelessness set him off during the May 3 show at the Hollywood Bowl. He said the comedian should have been more "sensitive."
"I identify as bisexual ... and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering," said the 23-year-old who has been in prison since his arrest. "I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect."
Lee — who attacked Chappelle, 48, onstage while armed with a replica gun that can eject a knife blade — said he was hoping to have a "good time" at the historic show, which was part of the Netflix Is a Joke festival.
However, he said he became upset when Chappelle joked about his past controversies with the LGBTQ community as well as about homelessness. Earlier in the night, a different comedian's joke about pedophilia upset him too.
Lee, a single father with a 5-year-old son, explained that he was experiencing homelessness at the time of the show. He had previously been molested when he was 17 and living under the protection of Los Angeles's Department of Children and Family Services, he claimed.
"It’s a struggle and I wanted Dave Chappelle to know it’s not a joke," said Lee. For his part, Chappelle joked to the audience immediately after that his attacker "was a trans man."
Still, Lee claimed he had no intention of hurting Chappelle — even though he had the weapon. He said the knife, which wasn't out, is something he always carries because he's a "minor celebrity" as an aspiring rapper. (His Spotify account, under the name NoName_Trapper, has 5,700 listeners, and he previously released a 2020 song titled "Dave Chappell.")
When asked about reports that he suffers from mental health issues, Lee claimed the reports were "inaccurate" and "wrong." However, his lawyer said he is receiving mental health services.
Lee spoke also to the outlet about sustaining injuries — including a broken arm and two black eyes — when security removed him from the stage.
"They spat on me and twisted me as if on purpose," Lee said.
After the incident, Lee said Chappelle asked him backstage why he did it.
"I told him my mother and grandmother, who fought for his civil rights to be able to speak, would be upset at the things he said," Lee said.
He claimed Chappelle replied, "Now your story will die with you, son."
A rep for Chappelle has not responded to Yahoo Entertainment's request for comment about Lee's interview.
Lee avoided felony charges for the Hollywood Bowl incident. Instead, he was charged with four misdemeanor counts, including battery and possessing a deadly weapon with intent to assault.
However, last week Lee was charged with stabbing his roommate last year in an unrelated incident. He pleaded not guilty to the December stabbing that allegedly occurred during a fight at an L.A. transitional living facility. He faces felony charges in that case.
All this hasn't changed Chappelle's jokes. Over the weekend, he appeared at John Mulaney's show in Columbus, Ohio, and allegedly made transphobic jokes there.