Okay, okay, he jumped, but it was a protest, not a suicide.
The lawyer for the family of a gay man who jumped to his death from a cruise ship has now admitted he did jump off the ship’s balcony after he initially contended he didn’t.
But he still blamed Royal Caribbean for the death of Bernardo Elbaz, whose maiden name was Bernardo Garcia Teixeira, and claimed that despite the fact that he jumped it wasn’t a suicide.
Attorney Michael Winkleman released new video footage, on Tuesday, of events that transpired before the jump, NBC Miami reported.
Elbaz was seen arguing with staff, after they were called to his room for a domestic disturbance, shortly before his suicide when he yelled “I have a husband, I am not a pedophile.”
“What’s most important is this was not a domestic dispute, this was not a suicide,” Winkleman told NBC Miami. “This was an act of protest. This was an act of protest based on the way that this legally gay, legally married couple was mistreated by Royal Caribbean.”
Winkleman initially agreed with the troubled passenger’s husband, Erik Elbaz, who said Monday that Bernardo didn’t jump off the Oasis of the Seas ship Friday, but the story had changed by Tuesday.
The change could have occurred because police have stated they have video footage of Elbaz running and jumping off the balcony while being chased by a security guard and his husband.
Winkleman contended Bernardo Elbaz jumped off the ship in protest of the way he was mistreated by staff because he was gay.
The attorney claimed the crew taunted Elbaz by calling him “lipstick” and “pedophile.”
In a statement Royal Caribbean has reiterated its initial assessment that the suicide was the result of a “domestic dispute.”
“Our ship’s security officers responded to reports of a domestic dispute loud enough to be heard from several staterooms away,” it said. “The room was in a state of disarray, and both lamps in the room had been broken. Our officers interviewed the guests separately about their dispute, as is standard procedure. The officers were not in the room when the guest chose to jump off his balcony.”
Watch the new video below.
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