With her 7-year-old son cradled in her arms, a former Playboy centerfold model jumped to her death from the 25th floor of a chic Manhattan hotel, law enforcement officials said.
The bodies of Stephanie Adams and her son, Vincent, were found on a second-story balcony of the Gotham Hotel, near the hotel’s rear courtyard, just one day after she checked in to a penthouse suite. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
New York City Police received a 911 call from the hotel at about 8:15 a.m., police said in a brief news conference. NYPD Lt. John Grimpel said the official cause of death has not yet been determined, but authorities confirmed to The Associated Press that Adams jumped to her death.
Adams was involved in “a very tough custody battle” with her ex-husband, according to her divorce attorney Raoul Felder. The 47-year-old mother had plans to visit Spain with her son on Tuesday, but the judge overseeing the family’s case requested Vincent turn over her son’s passport, Felder said, noting that it’s not unusual for the court to do so during a custody battle.
Felder told People that Adams was a “lovely person and very polite.”
“I never saw her unhappy,” he added. “Something must’ve happened in her life, and went haywire.”
Adams’ ex-husband, Manhattan chiropractor Charles Nicolai, did not immediately respond to attempts seeking comment.
Adams, a New Jersey native, appeared in a Playboy centerfold as “Miss November” in 1992 and again in 2003. Adams wrote more than 25 self-help books, owned an online skincare company, Goddessy Organics, and managed the finances at her husband’s chiropractic office, according to a 2013 New York Post profile.
Attorney Sanford Rubenstein, who represented Adams in a 2006 lawsuit against the police department—she won a $1.2 million settlement for being thrown to the ground by police, who were called during a dispute Adams had with a taxi driver—said nothing seemed out of the ordinary when they spoke a few months ago.
“She was a vibrant woman, she had strong opinions, and she loved her kid,” he said. “She loved that child. It’s unexplainable.”