Dave Chappelle Tells Audience He Spoke To Alleged Attacker Backstage

Dave Chappelle has revealed that he spoke to the man who jumped him on stage earlier this week.
credit: REUTERS / Alamy
On Tuesday evening, 48-year-old Chappelle was performing at the Netflix Is A Joke: Festival when he was attacked on stage by an audience member later identified by police as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee.

Cell phone footage shows the moment Lee rushed the stage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and tackled Chappelle to the ground in front of the live audience.

Lee was later charged on Wednesday with assault with a deadly weapon after it was reported that he was carrying a replica gun that contained a knife blade.

Videos then show the venue's security joined by Chappelle's associates as they detained Lee.

The Los Angeles Police Department reported that Lee suffered "superficial injuries" and had to be transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Now, Chappelle has revealed that he spoke to Lee backstage at the event; with Lee revealing why he attacked the comedian in the first place.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Chappelle said that he "needed to talk" to Lee, and convinced the venue's security team to let him speak to the suspect in a room backstage where Lee was being detained.
credit: Sipa US / Alamy
Chappelle said how he believed Lee appeared to be mentally ill, and was told by the suspect that he rushed the stage in an effort to draw attention to the fact that his Brooklyn-based grandmother has been forced out of her neighborhood as a result of gentrification.

Following the scary incident on Tuesday night, Chris Rock took to the stage to join Chappelle and made a joke referencing his own physical run-in with Will Smith at the 2022 Academy Awards in March.

After Lee had been removed from the stage, Rock joked: "Was that Will Smith?"
Will Smith hits Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards on March 27, 2022. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy
In fact, media personality Howard Stern slammed what he believed to be hypocrisy between the two altercations during the Wednesday edition of his radio show.

In an apparent reference to Will Smith's physical altercation with Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards, the entertainer ranted: “'This guy jumped up on stage and attacked Dave Chappelle. As soon as that happened, did they let him go back to his seat and laugh and sit next to his wife and then give them an award? No! They took him backstage, they broke his arms and hands so bad.”

He added: “They f***ing beat the s*** out of him.”

"Unlike the Academy Awards, Jamie Foxx came running out on stage and helped Dave Chappelle, Stern continued. "At the Academy Awards, everyone came over and consoled Will Smith — because it was live television and Hollywood didn’t know what to do about Will Smith."

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