Sometimes, being too trusting can be a fatal mistake – especially in diplomacy – as one member of the Australian delegation at the United Nations learned early Wednesday morning, when he plunged to his death from his Manhattan balcony during a night of boozing with friends and his wife. The circumstances of Julian Simpson’s death are bizarre, considering that he died during a “trust game” gone wrong, according to the New York Post.
Julian Simpson, 30, fell from the seventh floor to a second-floor landing at the Clinton Street building where he lived on the Lower East Side around 1:35 a.m., the sources said. Simpson was playing a “trust game” with a male pal when he accidentally took the fatal fall, a source said.
“I will prove it that you can trust me. Let’s play the trust game,” Simpson said to the 24-year-old man just moments before he slipped and fell, sources said.
Simpson and his wife were out with friends for dinner and drinks before the group returned to their Clinton Street residence, where they enjoyed views of the Empire State building from their building’s wraparound roof deck. The New York landmark was lit up in the colors of the Australian flag to celebrate the country’s same-sex marriage vote.
But things quickly took a dark turn as an apparently drunken Simpson climbed onto a higher roof with the wife of another party guest, and started dangerously swinging her around, according to the New York Post. Upon returning inside, the woman’s husband confronted Simpson, and the two stepped on to his balcony.
The details of what happens next are even stranger:
While on the roof, the diplomat, who serves as the second secretary to the UN for Australia, then climbed to a higher roof landing where he began swinging a female friend around, sources said. Once he put her down, everyone decided to go back inside.
While inside, the 24-year-old man, who is the husband of the woman Simpson had been swinging, confronted Simpson over the gesture, sources said. The two men then stepped out onto Simpson’s balcony, where Simpson told the husband that he meant no harm, according to sources.
To prove to the husband that he could trust him, Simpson suggested playing the “trust game” — in which Simpson would lean back on the ledge and trust the man to catch him before he would fall.
Simpson jumped up onto the balcony railing and sat on it facing the apartment before he fell backward, sources said.The man told investigators that he put his arm out to catch him, but Simpson slipped and fell to his death, according to sources.
Simpson was rushed to Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators say foul play is not suspected, sources said.
Simpson, a deputy secretary for the Australian delegation to the UN, was 30 at the time of his death. The Australian consulate has so far not commented on the strange circumstances surrounding his death. However, Police said excessive drinking likely played a role in the fatal accident, noting that the apartment reeked strongly of booze when they arrived.