Cruise passenger to sue over entertainer comments

by William ASTON on August 22, 2012

An Australian female cruise ship passenger will sue P&O Cruises Australia after offensive comments that were made by an on-board singing competition judge.

Kate Strahan, aged 50, took part in a “Pop Stars” competition during her 10-day cruise of the South Pacific in November 2011, as alleged by a Sydney Morning Herald report. After her performance, a cover of River Deep Mountain High by Ike and Tina Turner, British entertainer and competition judge Rory Healey claimed that he could see Ms Strahan’s underwear through the leopard print dress she wore and then made a lewd comment in reference to her breasts.

Mr Healey apparently finished his assessment of the performance by telling the contestant that she could “cougar” him “any time”. Although Ms Strahan appears to take Mr Healey’s comments in good humour in video footage of the incident, she is now seeking compensation exceeding AUS$1m.

While P&O Cruises Australia hasn’t renewed Mr Healey’s contract, the company is contesting the lawsuit. A spokesman commented that while there may be disagreements surrounding Ms Strahan’s allegations, incidents of this nature aren’t reflective of a high standard of behaviour P&O expects from its staff at all times.

In similar news, John Wolfe, an Irish cruise passenger aged 74 and from Dublin, has been awarded a payout from P&O’s owner, Carnival PLC, in relation to anti-Irish jokes told by an on-board comedian on two separate cruises in 2007 and 2008.

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