Ex-centerfold apparently jumps to death with son
A former Playboy centerfold involved in a custody battle apparently jumped with her 7-year-old son to their deaths from the 25th floor of a Manhattan hotel, law-enforcement officials said Friday.
Stephanie Adams and her son Vincent fell 23 floors and were found on a second-floor balcony about 8:15 a.m. Friday in the rear courtyard of the Gotham Hotel.
They had checked into the hotel’s penthouse suite at 6 p.m. Thursday, officials said, just hours after she told the New York Post that her husband and his lawyer were blocking her from taking her son away on vacation.
“All I want to do is take my son and get away from this nightmare for a few days,” the Post quoted Adams as saying. “But they won’t let me.”
The law-enforcement officials said the 46-year-old Adams, who first posed for Playboy in 1992, was involved in a custody dispute over Vincent with her estranged husband, a Manhattan chiropractor named Charles Nicolai. They said police had been called to their home several times in the past few months. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Adams and Nicolai had been in “a very tough custody case,” said Raoul Felder, a divorce lawyer who represented her for a time. The standoff was contentious enough that the former couple handed off their son to each other at a police precinct, an arrangement that’s unusual but not unheard of, Felder said.