SYDNEY — A man who said he smashed a lemon meringue pie into the face of Qantas Airways’ CEO to protest the airline’s support of same-sex marriage was charged on Thursday with assault.
Tony Overheu, a 67-year-old Christian and former sheep farmer, faces a charge of common assault, trespass and damage over the incident, which happened on Tuesday as CEO Alan Joyce gave a speech to 500 people in a Perth hotel. Joyce was on stage when Overheu approached from behind, pressed the pie in his face and then strolled away.
Overheu later released a statement accusing Qantas and other companies that support marriage equality of “corporate bullying aimed at social engineering.”
Joyce, who is gay, said he would not be silenced by the attack.
“Qantas has always spoken up on gender issues, on LGBTI issues, on Indigenous issues and we will continue to do so and no attempt at bullying us into suppressing our voice will work,” he told reporters in Perth.
Overheu has also been charged with giving police a false name. He is scheduled to appear in a Perth court next month.