Rod Stewart has apologized for a video that seems to show him carrying out an ISIS-style execution in the Abu Dhabi desert

By Alex Heigl
March 03, 2017 11:30 AM

Rod Stewart is in hot water after his wife Penny Lancaster posted a video that seemingly showed the musician carrying out a mock-ISIS-style “execution” in the Abu Dhabi desert before a show in the Arab Emirates.

In the now-deleted Instagram clip — which has been preserved online — Stewart, 72, and a passel of friends trek across the desert before the singer makes a cutting motion across the throat of a man kneeling in front of him. Fans and non-fans alike were put off by the video, which was more than a little reminiscent of ISIS’s desert-shot beheading videos.

Stewart insists the whole thing was just a bit of pre-show fun and has been misunderstood.

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

Stewart’s been on a rocky road since being knighted last October. In January, the internet seemed to think the singer got a little too deep into his cup during a televised Scottish Cup soccer draw, an incident a little more lighthearted than a mock beheading.

Stewart next embarks on an 18-city tour this summer with fellow music legend Cyndi Lauper, beginning July 6.

  • Reporting by SARAH MICHAUD