Alan Graham, 61, pulled up in his tractor and told the sexy pop singer to cover up and later claimed: “Her behaviour was inappropriate.”
Rihanna was recording a video for her new single “We Found Love” with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris in a muddy barley field near Bangor, Co Down – ahead of three sell-out shows at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena this weekend.
The filming was taking place close to a busy dual carriageway when she stripped to a bikini after removing a long checked dress. But the sight became too much for Mr Graham’s Christian beliefs and he politely asked the filming to stop.
The father of four, a member the Democratic Unionist Party on North Down Borough council, said today: “She understood where I was coming from. We shook hands and parted company on good terms.”
Mr Graham had agreed that one of his fields could be used for yesterday’s recording but was not aware what the production team had in mind for the pop superstar when they moved to an adjoining piece of land.
Earlier he had used his tractor to help pull free some recording equipment which got stuck in mud. He also helped fill in a hole with some of his straw.
Mr Graham, who owns 60 acres at Clandeboye outside Bangor was just about to head for home when he saw Rihanna in her red patterned bikini.
He said today: “I realised things had got to a stage which were not acceptable to me, Things became inappropriate and I asked the film crew to stop.
“I never heard of Rihanna until someone called me requesting the use of my land. I knew on Monday who she was. Someone explained she was as big as it gets as far as pop stars were concerned. I am a bit illiterate about those issues.”
“If someone wants to borrow my field and things become inappropriate, then I say: “Enough is enough. You are not entitled to do that.”
“There was no firm arrangement about borrowing the field. Everybody was done on an ad hoc basis. My expectations were not made clear to him (the man who requested use of the field), and everything that was going to take place was not made clear to me. To be fair to the people involved in asking for the field, I don’t think they were aware either of what would take place.”
“There was no agreement as such beforehand. I have not received any payment at this moment in time and I don’t know if I will be paid. I don’t want to say what I said to Rihanna or what she said to me. We had a conversation. We shook hands and parted company on good terms.”
Meanwhile, as the singer continued filming in Belfast today, the Rihanna-gate affair was even raised at the Northern Ireland Assembly where Ulster Unionist Mike Nesbitt launched a tongue-in-cheek attack on First Minister Peter Robinson, the leader of Mr Graham’s political party.
Mr Robinson was briefing Assembly members on a recent trade mission to the United States where he and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness asked the entertainment industry to base projects in Northern Ireland.
But his Ulster Unionist rival asked if potential investors might be deterred given that the pop star had been forced from a field for nothing more than “wearing red, white and blue”.
Mr Robinson said that as he understood it “there was no problem with the colours involved”. He asked if Mr Nesbitt, an MLA for Strangford, Co Down, might be able to make a field on his own land available to the singer. [via The Telegraph (UK) and SF Gate]