Southwest Airlines says that former L Word actress Leisha Hailey and her girlfriend were escorted off a flight for swearing, rather than kissing.

The star and her girlfriend Camila Grey were on a Baltimore to St Louis flight on Sunday.

They said a flight attendant admonished them for a “modest” kiss and they were escorted off the plane when they complained.

Hailey then took to Twitter to denounce Southwest Airlines and call for gay people to boycott the carrier.

The airline now says that although customers reportedly complained of “excessive” kissing, the couple were escorted from the plane for “profane language” and being “aggressive”.

A spokesperson said: “Additional reports from our employees and customers onboard Flight 2274 during a stop in El Paso on Sunday now confirm profane language was being used loudly by two passengers.

“Although we have reports of what customers characterise as an excessive public display of affection, ultimately their aggressive reaction led to their removal from the aircraft.”

Hailey and Grey said in a statement: “We take full responsibility for getting verbally upset with the flight attendant. No matter how quietly homophobia is whispered, it doesn’t make it any less loud.”

The singer and actress has tweeted that she has a recording of the incident but this has not been made public. She has demanded a public apology and a refund from the airline.

Halley’s publicist Libby Coffey has denied that the incident was done as a publicity stunt for the couple’s ban Uh Huh Her, which is embarking on a new tour.