British tourist who snorted cocaine off Pablo Escobar's grave says he regrets it, receives threats of being "skinned alive"
35-year-old Steven Semmens was expelled from Colombia after a video of his snorting cocaine off the drug lord's grave went viral in in April
A British man who went viral with a video of him snorting cocaine off Pablo Escobar's grave has said he now regrets doing the stunt but claimed he only did so as a "mark of respect" to the Colombian drug lord, who was once one of the world's richest and most powerful men.
According to the Mirror, 35-year-old Steven Semmens became infamous across social media in April when he was filmed doing the act on Escobar's grave in Itagui, Colombia.
In the video — which Semmens claimed was filmed by one of the drug lord's hitmen who he met in a bar — Semmens can be seen kneeling by the grave and spilling what appears to be cocaine on it.
He can then be seen rolling up a five-dollar note before leaning down, snorting it, and then turning to the camera with a grin and saying, "I'm Gordon Ramsay, mate," in an apparent reference to the chef's 2017 documentary on the drug.
The video soon went completely viral across both Colombia and the world, and the repercussions were severe for Semmens.
After being apprehended by the police, he was ordered to stay out of Colombia for the next five years, meaning he won't be able to see either his girlfriend or his children who live in the country.
Steven located to Colombia in November 2017 after meeting a girl from there during a holiday in Ibiza, and she later became pregnant with twins in Colombia.
Recalling the snorting incident, he said, "I was in a bar in Medellin when the news flashed up on the TV of me doing the cocaine. All the locals were going crazy so I joined in slagging off the guy on TV because I didn’t want them to know it was me."
"I went home, shaved to change my appearance and went to the mountains outside Medellin to hide," he continued. "As soon as I could I went to Cartegena and hid. Then I went to the capital, Bogota, but the police found me. They gave me a paper with a five-year ban on and I was taken to the airport and told not to come back."
He also revealed it was a friend who convinced him to go ahead with the snorting plan and that afterward, his life was very much in danger.
"My mate asked me to do a line off Escobar’s grave and it just went mad," he said. "It was funny at the time but I’m ashamed. Everybody said I was a disgrace and I was making the country look bad."
"The president even mentioned me on TV and the police were worried for my safety," he added. " It was really scary. I regret doing it so much. People sent me death threats on Facebook. They said if they found me they would skin me alive. I can’t see my children and that hurts."
The uproar meant 35-year-old had to return to Swansea and said he can't bring his family over because of visa issues. "If I wasn’t banned I would definitely have gone back to see my children," he said. "But I knew when I got on the plane I was lucky to be alive."
Semmens insisted to the Mirror he had learned his lesson and said his plan was now to became a drugs counselor. "I regret what I did so much and I want to apologize to the people of Colombia," he said.