Jury Rules in Favor of Osteen's Wife

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Jurors unanimously rejected a Continental flight attendant's claims that the wife of evangelist Joel Osteen assaulted her in 2005.

Flight attendant Sharon Brown claimed Osteen attacked her before the start of a flight over a spill that was not cleaned up quickly.

Brown was seeking at least $405,000 damages and an apology. She claimed that she had suffered from hemorrhoids and anxiety because of the incident, and that her faith had been affected.

It took just over two hours of deliberation Thursday for the jurors to decide in favor of Victoria Osteen.

Rusty Hardin, Osteen's lawyer, called the case "silly" and an outright attempt to gain money.

"If you want to hold her responsible and not look to line your pockets and hit the lottery, then you go to law enforcement. She didn't do that," he said.

Both Victoria Osteen and her husband testified that no attack took place. Several passengers, as well as the flight's pilot, also said during the trial that they never saw any such thing on the 2005 flight to Vail, Colo.

"The individual was not violent. They were not hit. They were not man-handled. Or, I would have called security," pilot William Burnett said Tuesday.

Laura Knoppe was sitting in first-class, closest to where Victoria Osteen and Brown were.

"There wasn't anything that occurred that she could be suing over," she said.

Brown's claims were tainted even further after Claudia Hall, a former colleague, testified on video tape that Brown falsely accused her of an assault in 1995.

On Wednesday, The Associated Press also reported that Brown had once described Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church as "a cult" and that Osteen was "the devil."

Brown said that she was "talking out of context" when she made the comments last year and that she'd never been to Osteen's church.

About 42,000 attend Osteen's church each Sunday.

The Osteens had paid a $3,000 fine the Federal Aviation Administration made against Victoria Osteen, saying they had just wanted to put the incident behind them.

Sources: CBN News, The Associated Press

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