New details have emerged surrounding the death of Bernardo Elbaz, the 35-year-old man who fell from the Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas cruise ship last Friday.
Lawyer Michael Winkleman, who represents Elbaz’s family, released a short clip from a video that may corroborate previous claims that his client was harassed by crew members for being gay.
In the video, Elbaz can be seen shouting at a two security guards who are blocking the door of in his cabin aboard the luxury liner.
“I have a husband,” Elbaz can be heard arguing. “I am not a pedophile!”
The video was shot just minutes before Elbaz plunged overboard to his death.
According to Winkleman, Elbaz and his husband, Erik, were repeatedly harassed by crew members on the ship, who referred to the men as “lipstick” and pedophiles.
“At the bar there were comments like, ‘Hey, Lipstick,’” Winkleman said. “Bernardo was sensitive about those issues.”
Did this ultimately drive the man to jump overboard? Winkleman claims it was not a suicide, calling it an “act of protest” fueled by anger and being over-served alcohol at the ship’s bar.
“What’s most important is this was not a domestic dispute, this was not a suicide,” Winkleman said. “This was an act of protest based on the way that this legally gay, legally married couple was mistreated.”
Winkleman says he plans to release more footage corroborating his clients’ story later today.
Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean says that staff members “did not have a physical altercation” with Elbaz and that they were “unable to prevent his jumping from the stateroom balcony.”
In a prepared statement, the company said: “Our ship’s security officers responded to reports of domestic dispute loud enough to be heard from several staterooms away. The officers were not in the room when the guest chose to jump off his balcony.”
The company has not responded to the allegations that crew members used antigay rhetoric towards Elbaz and his husband.
h/t: Daily Mail