The family of Bernardo Elbaz released additional video in response to continued claims that he jumped from the Oasis of the Seas because of a domestic dispute. The full-length video shows that Elbaz did not jump and that the incident was not a domestic dispute, according to maritime lawyer, Michael A. Winkleman of Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A..
Elbaz merely threatened to jump from the ship because of repeated anti-gay bullying by Royal Caribbean crew. In a botched attempt to secure him, Royal Caribbean security caused him to fall off the balcony, where he landed on a lifeboat davit platform two floors below. In another botched attempt to save him, Royal Caribbean failed to secure Elbaz while he held onto the lifeboat davit platform for three and a half minutes. Because of Royal Caribbean’s botched attempts, Elbaz fell into the ocean and died.
Royal Caribbean and the Broward Sheriff’s Office released statements that Elbaz jumped from his stateroom balcony following a domestic dispute but that is so grossly inaccurate that the family felt the need to respond. The videos released by the family show there was no domestic dispute and that Elbaz did not jump from the balcony. This tragedy was the direct result of repeated anti-gay bullying by Royal Caribbean crew.
The first video, taken roughly 10 minutes prior to Elbaz going overboard, shows an altercation between Elbaz and Royal Caribbean security in their cabin, where the couple makes clear that there was no domestic disturbance and that Elbaz was upset over anti-gay slurs directed at him during the cruise by Royal Caribbean crew. Instead of addressing the anti-gay slurs directed toward Elbaz, Royal Caribbean security threatened him. Elbaz filmed this exchange to document his persecution by Royal Caribbean.
In the second video, Erik Elbaz, Bernardo’s husband, is outside the front door of the cabin speaking with Royal Caribbean crewmembers who state they are going to take Bernardo Elbaz away and put him in a holding cell. This is happening while Bernardo Elbaz listens in the cabin.
He then sets down the cell phone in the corner of the room and looks at the camera and says, in half Portuguese half English, “because of this, I am throwing myself…” While he says this, Bernardo Elbaz is pointing toward the Royal Caribbean crewmembers. The six second portion is blacked out because of the family’s wishes.
Nonetheless, it is clear that Bernardo Elbaz’s exclamation, so Erik Elbaz and security can hear, is made in an effort to underscore his continued mistreatment by Royal Caribbean. As he approaches the balcony, Erik Elbaz opens the door and runs after his husband, followed by security who effectively tackles Erik Elbaz at the balcony, pushing into Bernardo Elbaz and sending him over the cabin balcony and onto the lifeboat platform below where he landed with his entire body on the platform. Bernardo Elbaz is then repositioned on the lifeboat platform by Royal Caribbean’s security so that he is desperately hanging onto the platform. He ultimately loses his grip and falls into the ocean.
After Bernardo Elbaz falls into the ocean, Royal Caribbean security reports, “he fell overboard.” You can hear Erik Elbaz immediately correct them in the video: “He didn’t fall. You pushed him! You killed him! He didn’t jump. He didn’t jump! You had him; why? Why?”
This video is the property of the Estate of Bernardo Elbaz and may not be independently published, broadcast, copied, duplicated, reproduced, or redistributed for any commercial purpose without the express written permission of Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. News organizations, however, are welcome to link to this website broadcast.