As a reminder, Uber has a no sex rule.
A same-sex couple claims that a New York Uber driver kicked them out of his auto after the two shared a "peck" kiss during a ride.
"I was taking an Uber yesterday afternoon in Manhattan when my driver abruptly pulled over and kicked myself and my girlfriend out of the vehicle", Iovine told the New York Daily News.
But both Iovine and Pichl say they kissed once, and were not touching inappropriately. He said they played loud videos on their phones and that one of the women put her feet up on the seats. "That's how fast it was that's why I say 'pecked'". "This doesn't feel right", Iovine said. "We leaned in for a peck, and that's what it was, a legit peck".
"My girlfriend started laughing", she said.
During the ride, the driver pulled his vehicle over on Canal Street and ordered the women out of his auto. They said driver Ahmad El Boutari, who's 35 and lives in Brooklyn, forced them out and a confrontation ensued. Normally private, they say they now plan to attend the city's June 24 Pride parade, which celebrates the LGBTQ community.
"You don't do that here in the auto. You aren't allowed to do this".
Iovine and Emma Pichl were taking the Uber from Pig Beach Gowanus to the East Village on Saturday when Iovine gave Pichl a kiss.
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'It's disrespectful, ' he says as he reaches for the phone to stop the recording. The women then threatened to call the police and have the driver fired.
A cellphone video taken by one of the women shows the driver saying kissing in an Uber is illegal. TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg says "we reached out to them (the women) immediately and commenced an investigation".
The spokeswoman, who did not identify the driver, said the accusation is troubling and that Uber takes such reports seriously.
She said that she also filed a complaint with the city's Human Rights Commission, but hasn't heard back from the online ride-hail company.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission is investigating. However, the agency told the Daily News that it has not received complaints about the driver in the past and that it has launched its own investigation. "We always thought we lived in this untouchable New York City bubble where LGBTQ is so accepted", Pichl said.
The women and the driver haven't responded to messages left Tuesday seeking comment.
"It was a really bad experience - and ironically occurred on a bright sunny day during pride month in NYC", Iovine said.