Prosecutors argue that Lilia’s attack was intentional and that when she stabbed him she intended to kill him
The model was initially charged with grievous bodily harm, but this was levelled up to murder – which carries a 15-year sentence (
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.
Lilia’s mother claims the stabbing was self-defence after years of domestic abuse (
The model – who has appeared on the cover of 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.
Sergey Popov was 28 (
Rossiya 1 / east2west news)
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.