Meet James Gelb. He’s a slumlord, er, landlord from Santa Barbara, California who may be facing charges by police after a video of him shouting antigay slurs at a man in public went viral.
The ugly confrontation happened on November 7 in downtown Santa Barbara. In the video, Gelb can be heard shouting the word “fag” more than a dozen times.
According to The Noozhawk:
Early in the video, the two men appear to be talking about Gelb’s property holdings, a Del Playa Drive portfolio that is on the market for $79 million.
Part of the exchange is unintelligible, but Gelb can be heard stating that “it is none of your f*cking business,” followed by “escrow hasn’t closed yet.”
After Bertrand says he’s “looking forward to seeing that,” Gelb asks, “Who the f*ck do you think you are? What’s your net worth, you little f*ck? What are you worth? Who do you think you are?”
Glancing back at the camera, Bertrand replies, “I work for the people of Isla Vista.”
After Bertrand tells Gelb that he treats his residents “very poorly,” Gelb explodes with a loud “F*ck you!”
Despite damning evidence to the contrary, Gelb insists he’s not a homophobe.
He also said that his brother was gay and died of AIDS in 1994 “after a 22-year battle,” which would mean his brother contracted the virus in 1972, which is odd given that the virus wasn’t identified until almost 10 years later, in the early ’80s.
Meanwhile, Bertrand released a statement on Facebook about the incident:
Mr. Gelb’s actions caused me to fear for my personal safety, leaving me traumatized for the rest of the evening. His disgusting behavior shows that in 2017, LGBTQ people in our community can still face harassment, discrimination, and the threat of violence. I hope that Mr. Gelb can heal from the trauma that has caused him to treat people this way, but I also demand that he be held accountable for this unconscionable attack on the LGBTQ community.
Watch the upsetting video below: