A gay couple is suing United Continental Airlines for what they call "extreme and outrageous conduct" concerning a sex toy discovered in their luggage. Virginians Christopher Bridgeman and Martin Borger are seeking damages for emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and negligence in a Texas court. Returning home from a Costa Rica trip last year, the unspecified sex toy was taken from one of their bags, possibly during a customs inspection in Houston, covered in a “greasy foul-smelling substance” and “taped prominently” to the top of the bag when they went to claim it at the Norfolk airport, according to the lawsuit. “I was absolutely and utterly shocked and embarrassed and humiliated," Borger told NBC News. Recalling the incident "still brings butterflies to my stomach," he added. Onlookers laughed when they saw the bag, said the couple.
Bridgeman speculated that an airline worker went through the bag and decided to deliberately humiliate the owner of the sex toy he found inside. “I absolutely, fervently believe that this was intentional,” he said. “It was very sick and it was very wrong and it was just maliciously taped to the top and targeted because we’re gay.” A United spokesman said there's no support for the accusations, but offered no other details. “United does not tolerate discrimination of any kind,” said the spokesman. “We will vigorously defend ourselves and our employees.” The airline said it had offered the men a gesture of "goodwill"—which officials did not describe—which the couple declined.