A skydiving instructor accused of groping one of his female students has scoffed at the accusation, insisting that he is “100 percent gay”.

Donald Zarda says that he was fired from his job because the student, named only as Rosanna, accused him of “inappropriate behaviour” and touching her “in a way that made her uncomfortable” during a tandem skydive.

The two were tightly strapped together in the jump and Zarda joked with the woman by saying “Don’t worry, I’m gay”.

Zarda, who told the New York Post that he is “100 percent gay”, was let go from his job and is now firing back with a discrimination lawsuit against his employer.

“So, you’re accusing me – the gay guy – of touching the girl inappropriately? The situation is so bizarre,” he said. Zarda added that he has struggled to find work because of the incident.

A lawyer representing Skydive Long Island commented to the newspaper that the company knew that Zarda was gay but that he had been dismissed because of multiple incidents of “inappropriate behaviour in the workplace”. He would not elaborate further.

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