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Diplomat Plunges 5 Stories to His Death During Trust Game: Police

Julien Simpson was an official with Australia's United Nations mission

What to Know

  • Julien Simpson was an official with Australia's United Nations mission
  • An argument between him and another man ended with Simpson trying to prove his trustworthiness with a game of trust fall, police said
  • Simpson leaned back on the terrace of a Lower East Side building, slipped and fell to his death

An Australian diplomat died after he plummeted from a Manhattan building during a game of trust, police said.

Julien Simpson, 30, fell to his death from a seventh floor terrace of a building near Clinton and East Houston streets on the Lower East Side early Wednesday morning, police said. 

Simpson and a number of other people were on the roof of the building to look at the Empire State Building, which was lit up in rainbow colors in recognition of a survey that found most Australians support marriage equality, when Simpson swung a woman around, angering her husband, according to police.

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Simpson later offered to prove his trustworthiness to the man by playing a game of "trust fall" on an apartment terrace. He went to a ledge and leaned back, but as he grabbed for the man's hand, he slipped and fell to a second-floor landing, police said. 

Law enforcement sources told News 4 that Simpson and the others may have been drinking at the time of the accident. 

Simpson was an official with Australia's United Nations mission. Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it's assisting the diplomat's relatives, who are asking for privacy.

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

"Hearts go out to his family, but I cannot provide any more details," Turnbull told Australia's Seven Network television.

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