Stephanie Adams, a former Playboy centerfold and her 7-year-old son plunged to their deaths Friday from the 25th floor of a Midtown hotel penthouse suite.
Their deaths come amid a nasty divorce battle between the former model and her estranged husband, Dr. Charles Nicolai.
“She loved that child,” said attorney Sanford Rubenstein, who represented Adams in a 2012 lawsuit against the NYPD. “It’s a horrible, horrible tragedy.”
Police said there was no suicide note left in the $489-a-night room, where the mother and child checked in at 5:56 p.m. Thursday. The two spent the night in the penthouse by themselves.
Speculation among hotel employees, based on reports from guests, was that Adams dropped her son from the window before leaping from the 500-square-foot suite at about 8:30 a.m.
“From what (the guests) told me, they heard a light drop and then a heavier drop,” said one employee. “I’m still shook up about it.”Adams was in the middle of a contentious divorce from Nicolai, the owner of Wall Street Chiropractic & Wellness, according to court documents.
“Things started to go sour between them about two, three years ago,” said a close friend of Nicolai. “He was always incredibly proud of his son … He adored his son.”
A neighbor in their Financial District building agreed that the couple’s romance had turned rocky. He reacted in disbelief and horror at word of the boy’s death.
“This is terrible,” he said. “I guess it was to get back at him.”
The NYPD answered five domestic disputes involving the couple between July 2017 and March 2018, sources said. There was an order of protection in their case, although it was unclear which spouse asked for it.
Last September, Adams charged her husband knowingly fed Vincent food that would produce an allergic reaction, sources said.
Adams, 46, had tweeted about domestic violence.
“The only person who should ever be ashamed in a domestic abuse incident is the abuser,” she tweeted on March 20. “Stand tall and stay strong … #NoExcuseForAbuse.”
Four days after that tweet, cops responded to a domestic violence call involving the couple.
The two bodies were initially spotted by a guest at the E. 46th St. hotel off Fifth Ave.“One of the guests of the hotel, they called the lobby,” said Ilir Krsniqi, 27, a waiter at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse in the hotel for five years.
“They said, ‘We saw a dead body,'” he said. “They said one but then they realized there (were) two.”
Scores of pedestrians and people who work nearby gathered near the front of the hotel.
“It’s horrible. I’m a grandfather myself,” said James Davis, 56, who works at Rockefeller Center. “It’s mental illness. You kill yourself and you kill a child, it’s horrible.”
Adams and Nicolai made headlines in 2014 when he fired a yoga instructor whose good looks threatened to make the former Playmate jealous, according to court papers. The ex-employee sued the couple.
Adams, a model at 16 and a centerfold six years later, claimed she was a direct descendant of U.S. President John Adams and John Quincy Adams.
Her official online biography said Adams hoped to “enjoy as much of a private life as she can possibly have with her son.”
Hopefully police do a thorough investigation because we’re having a difficult time understanding how a mother would not only take her own life, but the life of her 7-year-old as well.