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R.E.M.’s Buck Gets Help from Bono

March 25, 2002

LONDON (AP) _ U2′s Bono appeared as a character witness at the ``air-rage″ trial of Peter Buck, telling a British court the R.E.M. guitarist is a quiet family man not known for drinking or taking drugs.

Buck is accused of going on a drunken rampage aboard a trans-Atlantic British Airways flight last April.

Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson, said Monday that prosecutors’ description of a man who grappled with crew members did not sound like the Buck he has known for 17 years.

``I have never ever seen him drunk. I have absolutely never seen him taking drugs,″ Bono said.

Prosecutors say Buck acted like a ``drunken lout″ after consuming 15 glasses of wine on the Seattle-to-London flight. Buck lives in Seattle.

They say he overturned a breakfast trolley, mistook a hostess trolley for a CD player, claimed a stranger sitting on the plane was his wife and scuffled with crew members, covering them with yogurt.

Crew members have testified they pulled Buck away from an exit door after he announced he was ``going home″ mid-flight.

Buck, 45, denies charges of being drunk on an aircraft, assault and damaging British Airways crockery.

Last week, he testified that he took a powerful sleeping pill at the start of the flight and cannot remember his alleged behavior.

Bono said Buck was a ``famous parent″ who hated leaving his children behind to go on tour.

``I just wanted to stand up and be heard,″ Bono said. ``It didn’t add up to the person whose arm I had to twist to go to a boxing match because he thought it was an aggressive sport.″

The trial continues Tuesday at London’s Isleworth Crown Court.

Update hourly