Rod Stewart Thought It Was A Good Idea To Stage A Mock Beheading In Abu Dhabi Desert

The rocker apologized for the video, which has since been removed.
Desiree Navarro via Getty Images

Out of all the spectacularly bad ideas one might have while vacationing in the Middle East, staging a mock execution might just take the cake.

Rod Stewart found himself in hot water this week after his wife, Penny Lancaster, posted an Instagram video of the British rocker pretending to cut a friend’s throat on top of a sand dune near Abu Dhabi. Stewart and his crew had brought his tour to the United Arab Emirates, before he embarks on a North American tour with Cyndi Lauper in July.

On Friday, Stewart issued an apology for the video, which has since been removed, explaining that he was recreating a scene from “Game of Thrones” instead of pulling from headlines. Given its setting, however, the video is less similar to the HBO hit than to propaganda tapes released by the self-titled Islamic State in recent years.

Sandy Afternoon

A post shared by Penny Lancaster ( on

“From re-enacting the Beatles’ Abbey Road crossing to spontaneously playing out ‘Game Of Thrones,’ we were simply larking about pre-show,” Stewart said, according to The Guardian. “Understandably, this has been misinterpreted and I send my deepest apologies to those who have been offended.”

Maybe Stewart was acting out a Red-Wedding-style scenario, but we have to wonder how he couldn’t anticipate the backlash. Next time, let’s choose a better “Game of Thrones” reference, OK? Jon Snow and Ygritte’s kiss on the top of the Wall is obviously the natural choice.

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