Vogue model, 26, accused of killing partner in jealous rage

Yahoo News Australia and agencies
·3-min read

A Vogue model has been charged with stabbing her husband to death with a kitchen knife in a jealous rage.

Lilia Sudakova, 26, faces up to 15 years in jail in Russia, over the death of Sergey Popov, 28, after he “flirted” with a woman who he had brought home from a bar.

Sudakova was allegedly “jealous” and “outraged” and an argument followed, leading to a knife wound to his heart.

But her mother Irena Sudakova, 48, claims the model – famous for her natural ginger hair –– is a victim of domestic abuse, and that she had acted in self-defence when stabbing Popov.

The model has appeared on the cover of Russian Vogue and in magazines in Italy, China and Japan.

Lilia Sudakova. Source: East2West/Australscope
Lilia Sudakova, 26, faces up to 15 years in jail in Russia, over the death of Sergey Popov, 28. Source: East2West/Australscope

Her face was also used to advertise a Russian clothes brand.

After the stabbing, Sudakova – whose modelling name was Lila Sudakova – immediately called an ambulance and Popov was rushed to a hospital, where he later died.

She confessed to knifing her husband of four years, and initially told investigators it was due to jealousy after he flirted with the woman, according to reports.

She has been charged with manslaughter and detained in pre-trial custody for two months.

Irena Sudakova told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that a drunk Popov had brought home a woman he met at a bar, and expected his wife to cook for them.

She claims he grabbed her daughter by her hair and kicked her in the legs, citing another witness in the flat.

He retreated but returned as the model was cutting vegetables for a salad.

Sergey Popov. Source: East2West/Australscope
The model's mum said her daughter had acted in self-defence when she stabbed Popov. Source: East2West/Australscope

“He grabbed her by the hair,” the suspect’s mum said.

“At that moment, she waved him away and accidentally stuck a knife into him.”

It was an “irresistible impulse”, and at first she thought the heart wound was “just a cut”, she said.

“Lilia is a victim, it was self-defence. This was such a sick love. It all happened by accident, it was an accident” Irena Sudakova said, claiming that Popov had repeatedly beaten Lilia when he was drunk.

She described her son-in-law as “smart”, “mesmerising with his mind” and a computer genius, but claimed he was an “alcoholic” who could be “an arrogant snob”. She claims to have witnessed him assaulting her daughter.

“My daughter was completely sober,” she said, claiming the law is biased against victims of domestic abuse in Russia.

House where the crime was committed. Source: East2West/Australscope
The couple's home, where Popov reportedly brought home a woman he met at a bar. Source: East2West/Australscope

“Here self-defence is considered only when a man rushes at you with an axe,” she said.

“The fact that he beat her before, that he was despotic, this does not bother anyone. Nobody takes into account the nuances.

“She wasn't aiming [the knife]. I don't know how my daughter will live with the knowledge of what she has done. She is vulnerable, it will bring her down.”

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.


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