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Ralph Lauren's niece fined in air-rage incident

By Ashleigh Cowie and Greg Botelho, CNN
January 8, 2014 -- Updated 2255 GMT (0655 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Official: Lauren pleaded guilty to being so intoxicated that others could feel endangered
  • NEW: $2,700 fine is just under the bail amount, far below the alleged costs incurred
  • The fine stems from a Spain-to-New York City flight that was diverted to Ireland
  • State media: Her lawyer says Jennifer Lauren is extremely sorry for the trouble she caused

(CNN) -- A niece of fashion designer Ralph Lauren was fined slightly more than $2,700 on Wednesday for her behavior during an air-rage incident that caused a trans-Atlantic flight to be diverted, an Irish court official said.

Jennifer Lauren pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of "being intoxicated to such an extent as would give rise to a reasonable (possibility) that you might endanger yourself or other persons on board" an aircraft, said Susan Dermody from the Ennis Court Office.

Judge Patrick Durcan accepted her plea and fined her 2,000 euros (about $2,715), which was just short of the 2,500-euro bail that earlier had been set for her, according to Dermody.

It was also well short of the costs of the $43,158 incurred as a result of the flight diversion and inconvenience it caused to passengers and crew -- as detailed during Wednesday's court hearing in Ennis -- state broadcaster RTE said.

The court also took "into consideration" a charge that Jennifer Lauren engaged in "threatening, abusive or insulting (behavior) with intent to cause a breach of the peace or being reckless," added Dermody, the Irish court official.

The 41-year old was arrested Monday at Shannon Airport in western Ireland after a Delta Air Lines flight from Barcelona to New York was diverted, according to RTE.

During her appearance at Ennis Courthouse, Lauren's attorney, Sharon Curley, said her client had a number of medical conditions and was extremely sorry about the trouble she had caused, RTE added.

The judge said he accepted that her behavior was out of character, but he had to also recognize the upset and disruption it caused.

Lauren made no comment as she left the court.

A Delta spokesman said the diversion was due to "an unruly customer."

The plane, carrying 216 passengers, resumed its flight to John F. Kennedy International Airport more than two hours after landing at Shannon Airport, which is about 25 kilometers (16 miles) south of Ennis and also in County Clare.

Lauren runs a business in the United States called Jenny Lauren Jewelry, products from which are available at Ralph Lauren stores and various select stores in California, New York and Colorado.

According her company's website, Lauren is a New York City native who developed a love for creating jewelry as a teenager. She is a graduate of Barnard College and the University of New Mexico, as well as an avid traveler having lived in places such as Brazil, Japan and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Her 2004 memoir, "Homesick: A Memoir of Family, Food and Finding Hope," describes her effort to overcome an eating disorder and related health problems during her teens and 20s.

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