Air steward drops case against Formula 1 boss

January 14th, 2009 - 4:40 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan.14 (ANI): A former air steward who accused McLaren boss Ron Dennis of being racist and homophobic was forced to offer the Formula One chief an unreserved apology yesterday after admitting his allegations were unfounded.
Peter Boland, 27, from Stowmarket in Suffolk, worked for Dennis on his private jet for five years before being dismissed in May 2007.
He claimed at an employment tribunal that he had been victimised and discriminated against by Dennis.
Boland told the Southampton tribunal he had been sacked after false rumours circulated that he was gay, and claimed Dennis once washed his hands after saying he had been “shaking hands with Arabs all day”.
During the hearing Dennis, who brought Formula One’’s first black driver Lewis Hamilton to McLaren, denied the allegations and was quoted by The Independent as saying that they were “tantamount to blackmail”.
He accused Boland, who was suing for 100,000 pounds on the grounds of victimisation and unfair dismissal, of lying and trying to damage his reputation.
Dennis said he had sacked Boland after he fell asleep on duty and was rude to guests on the jet.
He also said Boland drove him “absolutely crazy” by packing his own snowboard in the plane’’s hold during a trip to Colorado, forcing guests to store their own luggage in the cabin. A source close to the case told The Independent that Boland decided to withdraw his accusations yesterday, after being informed that his former job had been filled by an openly gay man, Jamie Siggs, an appointment which Dennis approved.
Rather than witness his case collapse at the hearing, Boland chose to read out a surprise statement of apology. (ANI)

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