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Dave Chappelle reveals the man who attacked him on stage told him his motives afterwards

By Ellie Harrison
Getty Images

At a secret comedy show in Los Angeles last night (5 May), Dave Chappelle shared more details about his experience of being attacked on stage earlier this week.

Chappelle, 48, was performing at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday night (3 May) as part of the Netflix is a Joke festival when a man rushed on to the stage and attacked him, carrying a replica handgun fitted with an ejecting knife blade.

Immediately after the altercation, the attacker – since identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee – was detained by security and removed from the scene. Watch footage of the attack here.

Chappelle yesterday revealed, at a stand-up set at the Comedy Store, that he convinced the Los Angeles police to allow him to enter the room where Lee was being held. “I needed to talk to him,” Chappelle said.

The comedian said that he asked Lee what provoked his attack, after which Lee – who Chappelle said appeared to him to be mentally ill – told him a story about his grandmother from Brooklyn, who had been forced to leave her neighbourhood because of gentrification.

Chappelle said that, as far as he understood it, the attack was meant to draw attention to her hardship.

The moment Dave Chappelle was attacked (Twitter)

Chappelle also described a touching moment he shared with his son in the moments after the attack, who hugged him and told him: “Dad, I love you.”

Thursday’s performance was attended by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Sean “Diddy” Combs, rapper Yasiin Bey and comedian Jeff Ross. Chris Rock, who was slapped on stage by Will Smith at the Oscars in March, joined Chappelle on stage.

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