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Dave Chappelle Reportedly Told Accused Attacker ‘Your Story Will Die With You’ During Backstage Meeting

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Dave Chappelle Reportedly Told Accused Attacker ‘Your Story Will Die With You’ During Backstage Meeting

JAY-Z, Dave Chappelle - Credit: David Richard / AP Photo

JAY-Z, Dave Chappelle – Credit: David Richard / AP Photo

Isaiah Lee, the 23-year-old accused of attacking Dave Chappelle on stage earlier this month, recalled his backstage meeting with the comedian in a new interview with The New York Post. Lee said Chappelle asked him why he tackled him during a stand-up set at the Hollywood Bowl, to which Lee said, “I told him my mother and grandmother, who fought for his civil rights to be able to speak, would be upset at the things he said. ”

According to Lee, Chappelle replied, “Now your story will die with you, son.” Lee then noted, “But he’s wrong. I’m sitting here talking to you about it. ”

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Lee’s version of the conversation came after Chappelle offered his side at a stand-up show after the attack. According to Chappelle, Lee said that his grandmother was being forced out of her Brooklyn neighborhood because of gentrification, and he hoped to draw attention to her story.

Speaking from the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles, Lee said he stormed the stage out of frustration with the comedian’s jokes about the LGBTQ community and homelessness. “I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect,” he said, adding: “I identify as bisexual… and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering.”

A rep for Chappelle did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment regarding Lee’s interview.

Lee has pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanor counts after he allegedly tackled Chappelle during a May 4 stand-up set at the Hollywood Bowl. Despite protests from Chappelle’s campprosecutors declined to charge Lee with any felonies – noting that Chappelle was not injured, there was no evidence that Lee had prior “animus” toward the comedian, and the replica gun with a switchblade that Lee allegedly possessed during the attack was in the ” retracted position ”the whole time.

Still, the alleged attack did dredge up an unrelated incident, which led to Lee being charged with attempted murder: He’s accused of stabbing his roommate at a transitional housing complex on Dec. 2. Lee has pleaded not guilty to that charge, too.

In his interview with the Mail, Lee said he went to the Hollywood Bowl show hoping to have a “good time” but was increasingly put off as Chappelle joked about homelessness and the various controversies over his jokes about the LGBTQ community. Lee’s brother, Aaron, previously told Rolling Stone that Isaiah used to “stay at a shelter that helps transgender people” and has “been homeless since 11.”

Speaking with The Post, Lee said he was in the process of trying to find a place to live before the Hollywood Bowl incident and added, “I’m also a single dad, and my son is five. It’s a struggle and I wanted Dave Chappelle to know it’s not a joke. ”

But as much as Chappelle’s material upset him, Lee said it was another comedian’s joke about pedophilia that set him off. Lee said he was molested when he was 17 years old when he was living under the protection of the Department of Children and Family Services in Los Angeles.

Elsewhere in the interview, Lee said that reports about his struggles with mental health issues were “wrong” and “inaccurate” (his lawyer did say, however, that he’s been receiving some mental health services). And of the charges he’s facing, Lee suggested his case involving Chappelle was “pretty much done” but acknowledged the severity of the attempted murder charge.

“[I]t went from me probably only doing six months [in jail] and having to do community service and living in a transitional home… to possibly 15 or more years in jail, ”he said. “My son will be big by the time I get out.”

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