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29th Dec 2021

‘Delta Karen’ who hit elderly man on flight is former Playboy model and Baywatch actress Patricia Cornwall

Simon Bland


The former Baywatch actress spent Christmas Day in jail following the incident

A woman who allegedly attacked an elderly man on a plane and was subsequently dubbed ‘Delta Karen’ after a clip of the incident went viral has been revealed to be a former Playboy model, NFL cheerleader, and actress.

Patricia Cornwall was filmed getting into an altercation with an 80-year-old passenger whilst they were both traveling on a Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Tampa on Thursday.

As the pair’s argument escalated, Cornwall, 51, punched the pensioner before spitting on him, all while fellow passengers looked on in horror.

Footage of the incident soon made its way online, leading Cornwall to earn the nickname ‘Delta Karen’, in reference to the derogatory term often used for white women who act privileged.

According to Metro, the woman at the centre of the incident is former actress and a member of the Raiderettes cheerleaders for the NFL Raiders when they were based in Los Angeles.

Before this, Cornwall was featured as a model in Playboy: Cheerleaders, and during her time as an actress appeared in an episode of the popular sitcom Married… With Children in 1989.

What’s more, under the stage name Patty Breton, Cornwall also featured on the hugely successful beach drama Baywatch, even appearing on trading cards associated with the show.

According to, her particular card read: “Step right up and meet Bench Warmer Patty Breton! Hollywood has taken its chances with Patty, and boy has it paid off…

“Keep your eyes open for Miss Hollywood 1991 on stage, screen and magazine stand. It’s all fun and games with this Bench Warmer!”

In the video of the altercation, Cornwall – who now works as a real estate agent – can be seen engaging in an argument with an elderly passenger. According to reports, the incident began when Cornwall visited the restroom mid-flight and was asked to stand in a vacant seat while a drinks trolly was moved down the aisle of the plane by air hosts.

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To this, Cornwall reportedly said “What am I, Rosa Parks?” comparing herself to the iconic Black civil rights activist.

The elderly passenger apparently replied by saying she’s “not black” and “This isn’t Alabama and this isn’t a bus”.

Noticing that the older gentleman wasn’t wearing a mask – due to the fact that he was eating, which was allowed according to Delta’s in-flight covid rules – Cornwall began arguing with him and suggested he put a mask on.

With Cornwall standing over him, the man said “Sit down, Karen” – which led Cornwall to hit and spit on him.

When the flight from Atlanta reached its destination in Tampa, Florida, Cornwall was arrested by the FBI and spent Christmas Day in jail before appearing in an Atlanta court on Monday.

It has since been reported that this isn’t Cornwall’s first run-in with police. Just last month, she allegedly tried to fight authorities during an arrest for driving under the influence, with deputies reporting that she refused to leave her vehicle or give her name.