A Russian 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, accused of killing Sergey Popov, 28, after he 'flirted' with a woman who he had brought home from a bar.
She was 'jealous' and 'outraged' and a row followed, leading to a knife wound to his heart, it is alleged.
But her mother Irena Sudakova, 48, claims the model - famous for her natural ginger hair - was the longtime 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.
Her face was 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 hospital where he 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, say reports.
She has been charged with manslaughter and detained in pretrial custody for two months.
The suspect's mother 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.
He had grabbed her hair strongly and kicked her in the legs, said the mother, citing another witness in the flat. He retreated but returned as she was cutting vegetables for a salad.
'He grabbed her by the hair,' the mother 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.
'When the witness came (into then kitchen), he saw how it was. My daughter was shaking all over.'
The mother said: 'Lilia is a victim, it was self-defence. This was such a sick love. It all happened by accident, it was an accident.'
She said that Popov had repeatedly beaten Lilia when he was drunk.
Her son-in-law was 'smart', 'mesmerising with his mind' and a computer genius, but he was an 'alcoholic' who could be 'an arrogant snob' and she had witnessed him beating Lilia.
'My daughter was completely sober,' she said, claiming the law is biased against victims of domestic abuse in Russia
'Here [in Russia] self-defence is considered only when a man rushes at you with an axe,' the mother 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). She did it accidentally, he died.
'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.
'Hopefully there are chances of a minimum suspended sentence (because) this is all so unfair.'
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.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.