Rep. Lauren Boebert apologizes after getting kicked out of show and falsely denying she vaped
By JESSE BEDAYN and MATTHEW BROWN
DENVER (AP) — Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert apologized Friday after getting kicked out of a musical play in Colorado last weekend for disruptive behavior and then falsely denying she had been vaping.
The apology came a day after surveillance video emerged that showed Boebert vaping at her seat in a Denver theater. Her campaign earlier denied the theater's contention that she had been vaping.
The normally combative Boebert said in a Friday statement that her actions were not meant to be malicious or cause harm “but the reality is they did.”
She was kicked out of the “Beetlejuice” musical last Sunday following complaints from people in the audience that she and another guest were vaping, singing, using phones and causing a disturbance.
When the lights were still on and as people were taking their seats around Boebert, she could be seen in the surveillance video putting her hand to her mouth then blowing out a cloud of vapor. After the lights went off, the footage showed Boebert dancing in her seat and flashes from her phone as she held it up and appeared to take photos of herself during the performance.
Two days after the incident, Boebert posted in social media: “It’s true, I did thoroughly enjoy the AMAZING Beetlejuice at the Buell Theatre and I plead guilty to laughing and singing too loud!”
Boebert noted in her statement that she has been going through a divorce and said her behavior was unacceptable.
“I genuinely did not recall vaping that evening when I discussed the night's events with my campaign manager,” she said. “We do understand the nature of how this looks.”
In her relatively short time in Washington, Boebert built a national profile and has aligned with the extreme right wing of the GOP. Her assertive style has grabbed media headlines, most famously when she heckled President Joe Biden during his 2022 State of the Union address.
She is in her second term in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, largely covering the state’s western half.
The city-owned Buell Theater did not name Boebert when it released the video clips from surveillance cameras that showed the congresswoman and her companion being led out of the theater by members of its staff.
During the confrontation, the two made comments along the lines of “do you know who I am” and “I will be contacting the mayor,” according to theater representatives.
The two guests at first refused to leave the venue, even after an employee threatened to get the police, the theater said. Once a police officer was on the way, the two left, the theater said.
Brown reported from Billings, Mont.
Jesse Bedayn is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.