An Australian diplomat died after falling from a New York balcony while apparently playing a “trust game” with friends.

Julian Simpson, 30, who was Australia’s second secretary to the United Nations in New York, slipped from a seventh-floor ledge of his apartment building in Manhattan.

Mr Simpson, his wife and some friends went up to the rooftop terrace to enjoy the views of the Empire State Building as it was lit up with rainbow colours to celebrate the result of Australia’s same sex marriage vote, the New York Post reported.

Police sources told the Post that Mr Simpson climbed onto a higher part of the roof with his friend’s wife and started twirling her around.

The woman’s husband confronted him but he maintained he wasn’t trying to harm or scare her.

The diplomat convinced the husband to play a “trust game” with him on the roof to prove they could trust each other, it was reported.

Witnesses told police the diplomat planned to lean back over the edge and his friend would catch him.