Vogue model confesses to killing 'violent' husband during row about his affair
Prosecutors in Russia have upgraded charges against Lilia Sudakova, 27, from causing grievous bodily harm to murder, which could lead to a 15 year jail sentence.
Speaking for the first time on the killing of Sergey Popov, 28, the model insists she was a domestic abuse victim and had acted in self defence.
"He was dead drunk”, she said. “He came home with a girl and I understood what he wanted to show me with this.
“The night before I did not do what he wanted from me... he wanted sex...And he just showed me that he can find someone else...
“I went to the kitchen, asked her if she wanted to eat.
“He said he also wanted to eat, but I replied that he can prepare it himself.
“From that moment he became aggressive.
“He attacked me, and our friend [also in the flat in St Petersburg] pulled him away.”
As she was cutting a tomato with a kitchen knife she claims he yelled at her and “grabbed me again”.
Currently under house arrest after eight months in pre-trial detention, she told an interviewer that she “tried to push him away” and in the fight she inadvertently stabbed him in the chest.
“I saw blood, saw a knife in my hand,” she said.
“And I was scared that he would take this knife and just chop me to death.
“Then I called an ambulance, tried to bring him to senses, and gave him water.
“He said: ‘It's not painful’, and added: ‘Forgive me’.”
But prosecutors say she deliberately stabbed her husband, intending to kill him.
He had “put the palm of his right hand on her right shoulder in order to calm her and resolve the conflict” but she “deliberately and purposefully” faced him and “stabbed him at least once in the chest”, said the new murder charge at Dzerzhinsky district court, St Petersburg, where her trial into is due to start this month.
He died later in hospital.
The model - who has appeared in Russian Vogue and in magazines in Italy, China and Japan, and was the face of a Moscow clothes brand - initially told investigators she stabbed her husband of four years from “jealousy” after he brought home a woman he met at a bar, say reports citing law enforcement.
Her mother Irena Sudakova, 49, claims the catwalk star was a longtime victim of domestic abuse, and that she had acted in self-defence when stabbing Popov 13 months ago.
He had grabbed her hair and kicked her legs, she said, citing a witness in the flat.
“At that moment, she waved him away and accidentally stuck a knife into him.”
It was an “irresistible impulse”, she said, adding: "Lilia is a victim, it was self-defence.
“This was such a sick love. It all happened by accident.”
The model’s friend, stylist Karolina Pavlovskaya, also said Lilia had been a victim of abuse.
“She was a broken-down girl with a beautiful appearance, but emptiness inside,” she said.
The couple were in a holiday flat in St Petersburg when he was killed.
The model was speaking to reporter Sasha Sulim on Redakciya channel on a project called "Why Women Kill’’, which highlights the role of domestic abuse in many cases.