As a world-class magician, Ben Murphy (@thebenmurphy_) is used to surprising his audience with impressive tricks and illusions that leave them on the edge of their seats. But during a recent performance on a Royal Caribbean cruise, audience members weren’t the only ones left in shock during his act — so was Murphy when an unruly passenger allegedly assaulted him onstage.
The shocking incident, which was captured on multiple camera phones, is now going viral on TikTok after Murphy shared several of the clips and commented openly on the situation.
In it, the Australian TV host and popular magician sits on the edge of the stage performing a trick with a female volunteer from the audience. Both he and the woman sit side-by-side with playing cards sticking out of their mouths before they slowly lean in toward one another and gently touch the ends of their cards.
According to the New York Post, this little “kiss” is meant to be a part of the trick where the magician somehow “swaps” cards with the other person, so that when they each take them out of their mouths, they see that their original card has changed. But before Murphy could even remove the card from his mouth and reveal the end of his trick, a man appears onstage and seemingly knocks him back.
The audience could be heard gasping as Murphy fell back on the stage, and the female volunteer tried to shoo the man away. Moments later, the clip cuts out as the man begins to retreat and appears to go back to his seat. But clearly, this was not something that could be easily swept under the rug.
“My assault onboard,” Murphy wrote in one of his post captions, adding, “Entertainment, comedy, and magic are NOT contact sports.”
The magician also followed this up with an accusation leveled at Royal Caribbean itself, stating: “This guest should not have been allowed to enjoy the rest of his cruise.”
Though comments on the post have since been turned off, that hasn’t stopped people from talking about it.
Though the assailant has not been named publicly (nor has the female volunteer), Murphy told 7News that the incident wouldn’t be easy to forget. Not only was he “bruised all over” from the attack, but he claimed to have hit his head and suffered blurry vision afterward.
What’s more, Murphy claims that the cruise liner didn’t take the entire thing seriously until it was too late, allegedly taking his statement days later instead of immediately after it happened and not doing enough to penalize the man who attacked him.
Australian outlet 7News alleged that the unruly audience member might have been the boyfriend or partner of the female volunteer, which could mean that the entire thing was an act of jealous rage. But so far, that hasn’t actually been confirmed.
That said, Murphy has insisted that the volunteer was having a good time and that no one could have predicted what happened next.
“She was lovely and was laughing and having a real good time,” Murphy told 7News, adding that the volunteer “danced and giggled and gave consent for it all.”
Though comments have been turned off on the magician’s TikTok account, they are still open on Murphy’s Instagram. As a result, fans have been responding to the incident for days now.
“If you finished that show, you deserve an award,” one person told him. “It would take superhuman strength to be able to stay on stage after that. So sorry this happened.”
“We were in the audience and it was absolutely nuts!” another shared. “We assumed he would have been locked in his cabin for the rest of the cruise and I’m fuming if he wasn’t!”
“You did an amazing job continuing on with the rest of the show,” they added. “Hope you’re doing ok.”
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