BERNARDO ELBAZ FELL TO HIS DEATH, AFTER BEING OVERSERVED ALCOHOL AND AN ALTERCATION WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN CREWMEMBERS RESULTING FROM ANTI-GAY SLURS
The victim and his husband, Eric, who had been married for a year, went on the cruise in celebration of Eric’s birthday. On Friday, at around 1 AM, Bernardo fell from his balcony stateroom. The Coast Guard was notified immediately to begin searching for the victim. However, after performing a search of the area, the Coast Guard called off the rescue mission on Saturday. The victim’s body has not yet been recovered.
There have been several versions of the story so far. According to Royal Caribbean, Bernardo had a domestic dispute and “intentionally” jumped to his death. However, our maritime attorneys have disputed these allegations.
“Royal Caribbean says this was a domestic dispute and a suicide, saying that he jumped. That was anything but the case,” said Michael Winkleman, one of our maritime lawyers who are representing the case.
Earlier during sailing, Bernardo was at the Solarium bar where he was subjected to anti-gay slurs.
“At the bar there were comments like, ‘Hey, Lipstick,’” added attorney Winkleman. “Bernardo was sensitive about those issues.”
He was particularly upset after being called a pedophile, which is a heinous statement. Being from Brazil, which is horribly anti-gay, he grew up in a challenging environment as a gay man. Being treated in a similar fashion on the ship – while being over served alcohol – created a deadly series of events.
Bernardo, who was livid at this point, got into an altercation with the crew members before walking back to his stateroom completely distraught. Crew members may have followed Bernardo, and the argument continued. Security was later called to the couple’s stateroom, which only served to upset Bernardo further.