February 21, 2001
Mother who dropped baby off bridge wants to start again
Hopes to escape B.C. notoriety, divorce trial toldNeal Hall
The Vancouver Sun
VANCOUVER - A B.C. woman whose baby miraculously survived a 47-metre fall from a pedestrian bridge in 1999 said yesterday that she wants to move to Toronto to escape the notoriety of the incident.
Chung Chow, National Post
Nadia Hama, whose baby survived a fall from a bridge in 1999, told her divorce trial yesterday she wants to leave British Columbia to escape her notoriety.
Nadia Hama told her divorce trial yesterday she still gets recognized as "the lady who dropped her baby off the bridge" in Vancouver.
"I live with the guilt of a mother who dropped her baby," she said in often tearful testimony.
Ms. Hama and her former husband, 55-year-old Vancouver securities lawyer Kjeld Werbes, are both seeking custody of their two children at the divorce trial. Ms. Hama is also seeking spousal support. Mr. Werbes is arguing that he should not have to pay spousal support because of a pre-nuptial agreement signed when the couple married in Las Vegas in 1996.
Ms. Hama, who has been married five times, has not acknowledged signing the agreement.
She told the court that she wants to move to Toronto to take a course to become a private sports trainer.
Ms. Hama also testified about the day she dropped her daughter Kaya, then 18 months old, off the Capilano Suspension Bridge, a popular Vancouver tourist attraction that overlooks the scenic Capilano River canyon.
She broke into tears as she described it as an accident that began when her son Jovan, then five, began jumping up and down on the narrow bridge.
"I said: 'Jovan, settle down.' My foot twisted and I lost balance," she told Justice Mary Ellen Boyd, of B.C. Supreme Court. "My foot went this way -- sideways -- and she flew out of my hands. I tried to reach for her but it was too late."
Ms. Hama said she was relieved when the man in charge of the rescue told her that her daughter had survived the plunge -- her fall apparently broken by tree boughs and she suffered only scratches and bruising. "I said: 'Thank God for that.' "
She recalled being interrogated by police, who told her: "We know you're a murderer." Another investigator called her a "cold-blooded murderer," she added.
Ms. Hama followed her lawyer's advice, who told her not to talk with police or inquire about her baby, and was released from custody the next day without being charged. By that time, the government had apprehended her two children. She had asked that her former husband's brother to temporarily care for the kids until things could be sorted out.
Ms. Hama said she regained custody of her children months later.
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