NASSAU — Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner said she was “provoked” into slapping Fort Charlotte MP Dr. Andre Rollins in the House of Assembly yesterday after, according to her, the Gaming Board chairman embraced her, whispered “horrific” things in her ear and would not let her go.
When he spoke to reporters afterwards, Rollins denied that he made disparaging remarks to Butler-Turner and said she “lost her cool”.
He said he only encouraged her to seek a therapist because of her frequent emotional outbursts in parliament.
Rollins said he hoped something positive would come out of the incident and show young men that they should remain cool in the face of conflict.
The altercation took place at the House of Assembly’s top staircase landing moments after the house broke for lunch.
The Nassau Guardian, along with several other spectators, including some MPs, witnessed the slap.
As Butler-Turner walked towards the staircase, Rollins approached her, put an arm around her shoulder and spoke into her ear.
The Guardian heard Butler-Turner loudly tell Rollins to stop touching her and when he did not, she slapped him once across the face, leaving onlookers stunned.
As she walked downstairs, Butler-Turner continued shouting at Rollins not to touch her again.
Rollins went into the Smoker’s Room, and Butler-Turner made her way out of the house.
She walked back in shortly after.
She spoke with reporters about the incident after a brief meeting with Free National Movement, Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis, in the Minority Room.
Before the break, Butler-Turner had a verbal clash with several government MPs as she defended herself from criticism from MICAL MP V. Alfred Gray.
Gray had criticised the former government over the conditions at Simpson Penn Centre for Boys.
Butler-Turner is the former minister of state for social development.
Rollins was one of several government MPs who heckled Butler-Turner during the house proceedings. During the sitting, Butler-Turner also shouted criticisms at Minister of Social Services, Melanie Griffin.
The FNM deputy leader said Rollins’ taunts became “personal” after the session was suspended for lunch. (Nassau Guardian)