Vogue model stabs ‘abusive’ husband to death in the heart after he ‘brings a girl home from bar and flirts with her'

A VOGUE model is alleged to have killed her husband by stabbing him in the heart after he brought a girl home from a bar and began flirting with her.

Lilia Sudakova, 26, faces up to 15 years in jail following the death of 28-year-old Sergey Popov – but her mother has claimed he was an abusive partner and she was acting in self defence.

The model, who has appeared on the cover of Russian Vogue and in magazines in Italy, China, and Japan, reportedly confessed to the killing.

She is said to have initially told investigators she stabbed Popov – her husband of four years – during a row sparked by jealousy over his flirting with another woman.

After the stabbing, she immediately called an ambulance and Popov was rushed to hospital, but he later died. 

Sudakova has been charged with manslaughter and detained in pretrial custody for two months. 

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 she stabbed her husband.

She 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 grabbed her hair strongly and kicked her in the legs, said the mother, citing another witness in the flat. 

He then retreated but returned as she was cutting vegetables for a salad. 

“He grabbed her by the hair,” she 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”, the mother said.

“When the witness came [into then kitchen], he saw how it was. 

"My daughter was shaking all over.”

"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 her son-in-law had been “smart”, “mesmerising with his mind”, and a computer genius, but that he was an “alcoholic” who could be “an arrogant snob”.

She also claimed Popov had repeatedly beaten Lilia when he was drunk and that she had witnessed him beating Lilia. 

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

“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]. She did it accidentally. 

“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,” Pavlovskaya said.

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