The former Playboy model who jumped to her death from the 25th floor of a Manhattan hotel pushed her seven-year-old son out of the suite before taking her own life, police have said.
New York City investigators announced the results of autopsies performed on Stephanie Adams, 46, and her son, Vincent.
While Stephanie Adams’ death was ruled a suicide, the official cause of Vincent’s death is homicide, the New York Daily News reported on Monday.
Both mother and son died Thursday from multiple blunt impact injuries.
The incident happened at the Gotham Hotel, located at 16 46th Street, near Fifth Avenue. A room at the Gotham goes for $900 a night.
Former Playboy centerfold Stephanie Adams, 46, and her seven-year-old son Vincent (pictured above in 2012) died Friday morning. Adams pushed her son out the 25th floor window of a Manhattan hotel before taking the plunge herself
Adams, left and right in 2006, was Playboy’s Miss November in 1992
Adams was married to the boy’s father, Charles Nicolai, a Manhattan-based chiropractor.
A lawyer for Nicolai said last week that his client was in a ‘total state of shock’ after Thursday’s tragedy.
William Beslow told the New York Post that the 47-year-old wealthy chiropractor is distraught.
‘H’es numb, as one would expect,’ Beslow said, adding that Vincent was the ‘center’ of Nicolai’s life.
A friend of Nicolai described him as ‘an amazing, caring father’ and said he does not know how Nicolai will deal with the tragic loss.
‘I can remember him talking about when his son first learned to read. He was a very excited father, very proud,’ the friend said. ‘I do know that he was very distraught and very saddened by the breakup of (his) marriage.’
Nicolai’s son was killed early Friday morning in a murder-suicide after the child’s mother and Nicolai’s estranged wife Stephanie Adams jumped from the Gotham hotel, where they had been staying.
Both Vincent and Adams were pronounced dead at the scene. Their bodies were found by another guest on the balcony of a second-floor hotel room.
A bell caption, who said his name is Shaun, told the Post that he suspects Adams allegedly pushed her young child out the window.
‘I suspect the boy went first. The mother just tossed the child out first, then followed him. (Guests) said they heard a light sound first, then a heavier sound,’ he said. ‘I’m still shook up about it.’
It didn’t appear Adams had left a suicide note.
The mother and son checked into the Gotham Hotel around 6pm Thursday.
The two jumped from the 25th floor penthouse before 8:30am Friday, using a window at the rear of the building. They landed on a second-floor balcony and were both pronounced dead at the scene.
The Orange, New Jersey mother jumped to her death as she was locked in a bitter custody battle with Nicolai.
In the afternoon, investigators removed the boy’s body from the hotel
Investigators are seen loading the boy’s body into a can for transport
A close friend told the New York Post that she was distraught that her ex wouldn’t let her take her son to Europe for the summer, where her boyfriend has homes in Spain and London.
Nicolai, who owns Wall Street Chiropractic & Wellness, has visitation rights, and petitioned a judge on Wednesday not to let his ex leave he country.
The judge sided with him, and Adams was ordered to turn her son’s passport over.
‘All I want to do is take my son and get away from this nightmare for a few days,’ Adams told the Post after the Wednesday hearing.
‘But they won’t let me.’
Their relationship was so bad that the former couple reportedly conducted their custody exchanges at a police precinct in Tribeca.
‘It ensures no violence takes place,’ a friend told The Post in March.
A hotel worker said the mother and son jumped from a window of the 25th floor penthouse, landing on a second-floor balcony at the rear of the building. The front of the building pictured later Friday, with media gathered outside
The mother and son were pronounced dead at the scene. Above, the hotel pictured on Friday
Adams’ friend who spoke to the Post after her death said he doesn’t know why she was in the hotel, saying she has a residence in lower Manhattan.
‘This is really stunning. She loved that child,’ he said. ‘This boy was her whole life, this is terrible.’
He says she loved her son so much that she homeschooled him to spend more time with him.
‘The child — I can’t imagine she would do that,’ he said.
‘She was so close to that child, she wouldn’t even let the child go to school. People have these lives you don’t even know about. I didn’t see suicide.’
He said he was shocked by her death, but also revealed he had told her she could get help for her emotional problems recently.
When she jumped, Adams, left, was locked in a bitter custody battle with her ex, chiropractor Charles Nicolai, right
Adams was also awarded $1.2million from the NYPD, after suing the department over a 2006 incident in which she was thrown to the ground by a cop who falsely claimed she pulled a gun on him.
Adams and her ex were also sued in 2013 by Dilek Edwards, a former massage therapist in Nicolai’s office.
Edwards told the Post that she would receive texts from Adams saying she was ‘NOT welcome any longer’ at her husband’s practice’ and to ‘stay the f*** away’ from him and her family.
Edwards said she was let go after Nicolai claimed his then-wife was ‘jealous’ of ‘too cute’ Edwards. The lawsuit was initially thrown out, but later restored by an appeals court who said Edwards could sue for gender discrimination.
Edwards said her relationship was ‘purely professional’ with Nicolai and she has know idea where Adams got her ‘absurd suspicions’ from.
She added that Nicolai would tell her their sessions ‘had to be secret’ because if his wife heard about them ‘she can create some scenarios’.
Adams says she was raised by two of her aunts, who were both models, and decided to follow them into the industry at the young age of 16.
In November 1992, she was the centerfold for Playboy, at the time claiming to be the first openly lesbian Playmate.
But she claims on her website to have dated several famous men including Elite modeling founder John Casablancas, Calvin Klein supermodel Ted Stephenson, and Robert De Niro.
She met her husband on Match.com and the two were engaged in 2009. Adams was the one who filed for divorce last year.
Adams’ friend said that she had hired a string of lawyers to deal with her divorce and custody battles, going through four in this year alone.
During their marriage, cops responded to a domestic dispite call at the couple’s residence, and cops had to separate the fighting couple.
And six months ago, Nicolai was accused of knowingly feeding his son food that would cause an allergic reaction.
NYPD crime scene investigators brought evidence bags to the scene on Friday
Cops carried large bags into the hotel Friday morning, as investigators looked through the scene
Officers in dress uniforms stood guard outside the hotel Friday morning
The Medical Examiner’s vehicle was also seen on the scene Friday around noon
Nicolai’s lawyer did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the case. A receptionist who answered the phone at Nicolai’s office said he would not comment and was unreachable.
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.
Felder said he had been friends with Adams for 20 years but stopped representing her in the divorce case a couple of months ago.
Still, ‘she was never depressed while I knew her. She had certain problems, but depression wasn’t one of them,’ Felder said.
Felder recalled her as ‘sweet and ultra-polite’ – she always called him ‘Mr. Felder’ despite their long friendship. She would sometimes stop by his office to say hello, bringing her son, who loved to play with a Superman statue in the office, Felder recalled.
And she routinely sent him birthday cards, until his birthday passed this month without one.
Above, a view inside the Penthouse suite at the Gotham Hotel, where the mother and son were staying
Adams also founded a new age skincare line called GODDESSY Organics. On the website, she claims to be the author of two dozen metaphysical books, astronomy calendars and tarot cards – and describes herself as a ‘generational occultist, psychic and spiritualist’.
She also claims to be a direct descendant of two presidents, with a European royal lineage.
‘According to her Playboy pictorial, Adams is the direct descendant of two U.S. presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams, later discovering that her lineage also traces back to the House of Plantagenet, Charlemagne, and Merovingian Dynasty,’ the website reads.
The biography goes on to say that Adams dedicates ‘most of her time investing in Fortune 500 companies, enabling her to become a self-made millionaire before the age of 30’.
‘Now Adams has decided to dedicate most of her time towards business, philanthropy, and developing as much of a private life as she can possibly have,’ she writes on the site.
Adams (pictured left and right) was also awarded $1.2million from the NYPD after a 2006 incident in which she was thrown to the ground by a cop who wrongly claimed she pointed a gun at him
The Gotham Hotel, where the penthouse goes for more than $900 a night, said that police were investigating the situation and refused to comment further.
The scene outside the hotel was pretty quiet Friday morning. Just a handful of police officers were inside the building, speaking with staff. The bodies have not yet been removed from the premises.
Initial reports stated that the child was a baby, less than a year old, but police later corrected that initial misunderstanding.
• For confidential help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or click here
• For confidential support on suicide matters in the UK, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or click here