Diplomat playing game of 'trust' dies in fall off building terrace

2017-11-16 10:22
Building. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Building. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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New York – An Australian diplomat who had angered a woman's husband and then sought to prove himself with a risky game of trust on a 7th-floor terrace near the Empire State Building fell to his death, police said.

The diplomat, Julian Simpson, and other people had gone on an apartment building roof to look at the Empire State Building lights early on Wednesday, police said. The building was lit in rainbow colours in recognition of a survey that found most Australians support marriage equality and ensured that lawmakers will vote on a same-sex marriage bill this year.

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Simpson swung a woman around, and her husband became angry, police said. The men then went on the 7th floor apartment terrace, and Simpson offered to prove he was trustworthy by playing a trust game, going to a ledge and leaning back.

Simpson grabbed for the other man's hand but slipped and fell to a 2nd-floor landing, authorities said.

Simpson, 30, was an official with Australia's United Nations mission. Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was assisting Simpson's relatives, who asked for privacy.

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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the death of Simpson, the second secretary to the United Nations for Australia, was a "shocking tragedy".

"Hearts go out to his family," Turnbull told Australia's Seven Network television.

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