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.
Related: Lawyer Suggests Man Who Fell From Cruise Ship Was Taunted By Antigay Crew Members
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.
Related: 30 Amazing Cruise Images On the 30th Anniversary Of The Great RSVP
“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.
Related: A Straight Couple Accidentally Boarded a Gay Cruise. Should They Sue?
h/t: Daily Mail
James Work Jr.
I can not believe this happened. It is indeed a sad story
Time to sue!
Jose Longoria Jr.
This makes me sick.
There is nothing in that video that corroborated anything. What u have is security is trying to figure out what is going on like they’re suppose to . If someone complained that he was using his camera excessively then they need to find out why. But the person who complained is probably some up tight person who thinks gays and pedophiles are the same
So where do they get the workers for these cruise ships?
@Sidney DaviesWinter: Sue for what? The guy committed suicide. If the staff did say these things, that was definitely unprofessional behavior, but it’s not sufficient proof for wrongful death.
This lawyer sounds a little kooky too. Throwing yourself off a ship “in protest” of some insensitive comments just shows the mental instability. Wouldn’t it have been a far more effective protest to file a complaint over the incident with Royal after the trip? If the suicide was “in protest” of the taunting, why didn’t his husband (who was also taunted) jump too? Are we to believe this was the first time Bernardo (a gay Latino) experienced unpleasant comments for being different? Trying to make this a cause and effect just doesn’t make sense. Suicide usually isn’t over just one thing or event.
This is nothing but lawyer propaganda to boost the imminent lawsuit.
Anyone who’s ever been on a cruise knows that the employees are basically robots in highly coveted jobs, and don’t do things such as taunting guests, especially to such a degree as has been claimed. To think otherwise is purely wishful thinking.
Nobody is responsible for your drunk behaviour except for you.
This changes nothing from the previous Queerty posting of this story.
This needs to be investigated and the passengers should be asked if they know anything about the crew that allegedly made anti-gay comment and if the crew harassed Bernardo Elbaz. If they did they should be disciplined. Discrimination must not be tolerated, especially by a profit making business such as the Royal Caribbean.
@BJ McFrisky: Making excuses again aren’t we?
How come homophobes don’t “protest” this way?
Whatever happened, the end result is really pretty awful. I can’t imagine being Erik and seeing what he saw when it would have been so easy – just a matter of cooperation and a few feet – to prevent Bernardo’s death.
That first video made me telephone Mr. Glücklich and send some flowers later. I’ve no interest in seeing a new video.
Sounds corny as all hell but hold your partner/spouse a little closer tonight.
I hate to say this but I am on the side of the crew in this one. Bernardo looks the type who, in an attempt to save him from HIMSELF, could have just as easily pulled a crew member over board with him. I don’t see where releasing that video clip is working in his favor either.
He looks more of a “performer” who isn’t satisfied unless he has found a persons last nerve. Some how I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he has a history of confrontation with authority dating back to his first wet dream. What happened to him was sad but sometimes we do bring these things on ourselves.
@Masc Pride: What does him being a Latino have to do with anything?
@BJ McFrisky: Where the hell is your heart?
Royal Caribbean needs to respond to the allegations of anti-gay diatribes by its staff. If it doesn’t, a campaign should be started to bring this to the public’s attention on a wider level.
At the same time, one cannot blame anyone but the drinker for over-drinking alcohol if that is indeed what happened.
I am a gay man. I have to say this. This man and his husband are both nothing more than overly sensitive drama queens. Typical bitchy New York queen. Did you hear this dumb fuck talking in this video? “They pushed him overboard!!! They pushed him overboard!!” — Even if someone did say homophobic comments the crew is not responsible for his death. These are some weak men and I can not stand to hear this bitch complain. He complain even when the crew was trying to help the man.
I am sorry for the loss of this life, but I really think there is a lot more to this than what has been released. After reviewing video, a shoreside investigation by the Broward County Sheriff’s Dept is siding with Royal. They say there is audio of Bernardo threatening to jump. Yet, the lawyer says it was an act of protest. Really? I don’t doubt something horrible triggered this, but I don’t think we’ll ever know who or what did.
Here’s what I know from experience: My partner and I have been on many cruises on many different lines, and have never felt discriminated against by any crew member. Could it happen? Sure, but a visit to Guest Services would take care of that quick. We’ve even attended ship organized “Friends of Dorothy” meet and greets to get to know our fellow LGBT travelers.
I just don’t buy it this as a homophobic incident. It’s more plausible that heavy drinking, paired with a possibly emotional or mental incident contributed to this tragedy. My prayers go out to his loved ones.
What is it with the insensitive, hom0phobic comments about this case? You have a dead gay married man who, with his husband, was taunted by the staff of this ship. He ends up falling into the water and drowning.
Yet we’re getting some gay people on this and the prior thread blaming Mr. Albaz and showing no sensitivity whatsoever, along with comments about him being a “gay Latino,” which I guess means he should have been inured to [email protected] and hom0phobia. Uh, NO. I hope the facts come out, and if this ship’s crew is at all responsible, including engaging in hom0phobic behavior, they should be sued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
And to the gay people who clearly do not like or empathize with other gay people, especially ones who are subjected to hom0phobic (and [email protected]) abuse and mistreatment, get some help pronto!
@zooby: Because a gay Latino certainly wouldn’t be a noob to discrimination and insensitivity. Seems odd that a couple remarks from cruise ship staff would be the straw that broke the camel’s back here.
@Bob LaBlah: Yeah, even the lawyer admits the deceased was intoxicated at the time of the incident. There’s video of him ranting and sounding very drunk before the incident (shirtless and possibly nude under the covers of his bed). It starts off with him wanting to make sure he was being recorded.
@Bob LaBlah: “Looks the type’? Thank you , Mr. Forensic pathologist
Queerty needs to hire a copy editor/proofreader.
Also, this story doesn’t add up.
There is probably a life insurance policy that does not pay out for a suicide, so his husband has to prove some other explanation for his death to collect. Sounds cold-hearted, but probably the truth that is driving all the lawyer actions and comments.
Oh what an idiot, if he is willing to kill himself because he got “taunted”, I have no sympathy for him. How old was he? 12? LMAO, I’m starting to believe homosexuality might indeed be a psychological disorder based on clowns like him.
@jorgecruz: I agree with you. This is some bullshit.
There’s more to this story; some facts are not included that were included elsewhere. Other passengers on the ship had been complaining for the duration of the trip of loud, violent arguments coming from the couple’s cabin. Finally, security/crew went to check and found that some expensive furniture in the cabin had been destroyed by these messy queens. If the crew was upset, that may be why — although that would not excuse the use of gay slurs in such a situation, if that occurred. However, there seems to be an established pattern of domestic disturbance and emotional instability with this couple. Add drinking to that, and it doesn’t sound like it’s the ship’s fault an unhinged, emotionally explosive passenger ended up in the water. It’s a tragedy all the way round, but it seems likely that the husband is trying to deflect responsibility for his role. They could have been cited or arrested for probable cause of disturbing the peace and destruction of property had this poor young man’s life not ended.
@DarkZephyr: Behind my ribcage.
Where’s the common sense?
Is it any surprise the most loathed on here made those types of remarks? Same anti-gay, pro-closet, pro-bigots spouting the same garbage.
I don’t think we should be labeling suicide “an act of protest”?
@NoCagada: Why I thank you kindly, no caca. I really needed that uplifting comment from you to make my day. How’s yours going?
@Adrian Ornelas: Why not? Plenty of people have committed suicide as an act of protest, this guy would hardly be inventing it.
That said, @DK found the non-douchebaggy way to say this probably wasn’t the crew’s responsibility, and if those details are correct, there you are. Sad story.
Something doesn’t sound right in this story. One doesn’t usually ‘protest’ by committing suicide. We don’t have the whole story here I suspect. Something else going on.
Whatever the circumstances, this is truly tragic. I will pray for comfort and solace for those involved. Since most gays are anti-christian pagans, and no longer pray, let me suggest that you just get a teddy bear and throw it into the ocean, yup, that should do just fine.
Regardless of the cause it gives the Anti Gay Trolls a chance to spew out hate as usual in the above posts. Ignore the Trolls!
@Masc Pride: He’s a white, good-looking Latino. You wouldn’t even know he is Latino without him telling you, so I doubt anyone is “discriminating” against him because of it.
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