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Bartender pays for video bust-up with job

Kenry Thorpe

A man filmed in a poolside argument with tourists at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club has mounted a social media defence in an attempt to clear his name.

Kenry Thorpe said he suffered racist abuse before he lost his temper after a row broke out at the hotel’s poolside.

He was speaking after police said on Tuesday that a man — later identified as Mr Thorpe — had entered the hotel last Saturday and “behaved in a threatening manner towards guests”.

But Mr Thorpe later wrote a statement posted on WhatsApp and Facebook that said he had visited the hotel to see a friend.

He claimed he was having a conversation with another man before they were “rudely interrupted” by a woman.

Mr Thorpe said the woman asked the man: “Why are you talking to this n*****?”

Mr Thorpe said: “I lost my temper, I will admit.”

Members of the public filmed the confrontation, including one man who said the tourist should have hit the “moolie” — an Italian-American racial slur.

Mr Thorpe said in his post: “My name is Kenry Thorpe, I’m a bartender. That is me in the video that’s gone viral. I think it’s time people hear the truth about that video.

“I was at HP to visit a friend. As I was leaving, a gentlemen spoke to me, so I went over to talk to him. We had a brief convo until we were rudely interrupted by a female who asked him, ‘Why are you talking to this n*****?’

“I immediately lost my temper, I will admit. I had never felt so disrespected in my life in my own country.”

He added that the man had acted in a “hostile manner”, but that people had blamed him because he was black.

Mr Thorpe said he had lost his job as a bartender at the Rosewood Bermuda resort and his good reputation as a result of the incident.

Rosewood Bermuda confirmed that Mr Thorpe had been dismissed and that the controversy was “one of the reasons” for his dismissal.

News site TNN Bermuda interviewed Mr Thorpe yesterday. He said he had worked hard to achieve a job at Rosewood Bermuda, including attending college, and had completed training for intervention procedures for bartenders.

He told TNN he was “dumbfounded, shocked and upset” by the woman’s comments but added that if he could go back he would have “handled it better” and reported the incident to the hotel.

American tourist George Power, who was featured in the video, said he went over to the group to try to calm the situation but Mr Thorpe became aggressive.

Mr Power added: “It seemed a fight was a few seconds from breaking out. I yelled from my seat with an unbiased approach, ‘Why are you guys fighting? Is everything OK?’

“At this point the young man from Bermuda started yelling at me and my fiancée asked me to stay in my seat.

“After some more time passed with them arguing, I saw the cameras being taken out and filming the situation.

“I thought as I walked over there, I was going to have to break up a fight, as you see me cracking my neck, getting ready to possibly pull people apart.

“I never said anything to the young Bermudian citizen but when he looked at me he started to verbally attack me.”

He said the couple involved in the argument left him to deal with it.

A Hamilton Princess spokeswoman said: “We are currently conducting an internal investigation and continue to co-operate with the Bermuda Police Service.

“As the police has an open investigation, we are unable to comment further at this time.”

Mr Thorpe did not respond to a request for comment.

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