Former Playboy centerfold jumps to death with son
NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - A former Playboy centerfold model and her 7-year-old son plunged to their deaths from a New York City boutique hotel's 25th-floor penthouse on Friday.
Stephanie Adams, 47, and her son Vincent fell from a window at the Gotham Hotel and landed in a courtyard at about 8:15 a.m. Another hotel guest heard the sound of the impact and found their bodies, police said.
Police detectives were looking to determine if Adams had a history of mental illness. The investigation is ongoing and police stressed the information was preliminary.
The model had been locked in a bitter custody dispute with her estranged husband, Charles Nicolai.
The high-profile divorce attorney Raoul Felder was a longtime friend and represented her in divorce and custody proceedings until February. He said that he had advised her to seek help from a psychologist. But he said that he never thought she would do something like this.
"She was not suicidal," Felder said.
Nicolai's lawyer told Fox 5 News that his client is "completely devastated" and "Vincent was the center of his life."
They were court on Wednesday, where a judge placed a restraining order on Adams to not leave the country with Vincent. Attorney William Beslow said she was supposed to surrender the boy's passport on Friday morning.
Nicolai was supposed to have Vincent with him this weekend as part of a custody arrangement, Beslow said.
Adams was Playboy's Miss November 1992. She modeled for Wilhelmina and Elite, according to previous reports.
The Gotham Hotel is located on 46th Street, about four blocks from Grand Central Terminal, and has 67 rooms over 25 floors. A hotel employee said that Adams and her son checked into the hotel on Thursday.
If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text to 741-741. CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.