Isaiah Lee made international headlines when he accused Dave Chappelle on stage during a show. Now he’s told why he did it.
The Los Angeles man accused of assaulting Dave Chappelle said he was “provoked” by the comedian’s jokes about the LGBTQ community and homelessness, as he insisted he never meant to harm the comedian.
“I identify as bisexual … and I wanted him to know what he said provoked,” Lee said Saturday at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles, dressed in brown prison clothes and with a sling on a broken right arm.
“I wanted him to know that next time he should consider getting his material out to people he could influence first.”
Lee said he expected to “have a good time” on Netflix’s May 3 show, but he became angry and upset when Chappelle joked about his previous disagreements with the LGBTQ community, as well as homelessness.
“I’m also a single father and my son is five years old,” said Lee, 23, who himself was once homeless. “It’s a fight and I wanted Dave Chappelle to know it’s not a joke.”
He said his tipping point came when another comedian on the show made a crude joke about pedophilia, which Lee said brought back memories of his own molestation as a teenager.
The stunning bout at the Hollywood Bowl was caught on camera, with Lee lunging at Chappelle on stage, knocking him down and running away before being grabbed by security.
“It was a trans man,” Chappelle, who was uninjured, joked to the crowd immediately after the attack.
Lee acknowledged that on the night of the alleged attack, he had a replica pistol with a retractable knife, but claimed that he had no weapon when he attacked the scene.
The wannabe rapper, who goes by the pseudonym NoName_Trapper and once released a song about an Emmy Award-winning comic, said he always carries a weapon for defense because he is also a “minor celebrity.”
The young father, who was beaten during the incident, now faces four misdemeanor charges, including battery and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to assault.
“They spat at me and twisted me as if on purpose,” he said of the guards, who left him with a broken arm and two bruises under his eyes.
Lee said Mail that he was abused at the age of 17 while in the care of the Department of Children and Families in Los Angeles. He also said he was trying to find a place to live before he was captured during the Hollywood Bowl debacle.
Asked about reports that he was suffering from mental health issues, Lee said they were “incorrect” and “inaccurate”. His lawyer, however, said he was receiving mental health care.
The viral incident has also led to new criminal charges against Lee – he was charged Thursday with allegedly stabbing his roommate last year. The victim in this case identified Lee as the alleged assailant when the Chappelle incident went viral, prosecutors said.
“To a large extent, it was done,” Lee said of his criminal case involving Chappelle.
“But it went from me, probably only six months later [in jail] and having to do community service and live in a temporary detention facility… possibly up to 15 or more years in prison,” he added, shaking his head. “My son will be big when I get out.”
However, he said he did not regret what happened because he saw it as an opportunity to speak out about homelessness, LGBTQ rights, and child sexual abuse, which are often fodder for comedians.
Chappelle garnered attention last year with his Netflix special. Closerin which he jokes about transgender women and defends author J.K. Rowling and rapper DaBaby’s controversial comments about gay and transgender communities.
In the special, the candid comic tales of him joining Rowling on “Team TERF” — an acronym for trans-exclusive radical feminist movement — simultaneously lambaste DaBaby’s critics.
“Many members of the LGBT community do not know the history of DaBaby. He is a wild guy. Once he shot at — r and killed him. At Walmart. Oh, it’s true. Google it. Nothing bad happened to his career…” Chappelle says.
Then he quipped, “Do you understand what I’m getting at? In our country, you can shoot and kill, but it’s better not to offend a gay!
After the alleged attack, Lee said that Chappelle asked him backstage at the Hollywood Bowl why he did it.
“I told him that my mother and grandmother, who fought for his civil rights so he could speak, would be upset by what he said,” Lee recalled.
But Chapelle allegedly objected: “Now your story will die with you, son.”
“But he’s wrong,” Lee insisted to a Post reporter. “I’m sitting here talking to you about this.
A representative for Chappelle did not respond to a request for comment.
A Netflix spokesperson declined to comment on the entry and cited Mail to the company’s earlier statement: “We care deeply about the safety of writers and strongly protect the right of stand-up comedians to perform on stage without fear of violence.”
Additional report by David Meyer