Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Kadamba Simmons -- Ending Up with a Loser

Born in London in May 1974, Kadmaba (Hindi for "flower of enlightenment") Simmons was better known for her non-stop partying lifestyle than her career as a model and film actress.  Dropping out of school and leaving home, the 16-year-old rented a flat in Notting Hill, West London, and soon became a reqular on the club scene.  Strikingly beautiful, the sultry wannabe attracted the attention of a string of celebrity lovers including Bros singer Matt Goss, record producer Nellee Hooper, rock star Liam Gallagher of Oasis, and by age 21, champion boxer Prince Naseem Hamed.  Although some reports stated Simmons converted to Islam to be "spiritually closer" to the boxer, Hamed broke off the relationship seemingly alarmed by her flamboyant lifestyle characterized by heavy drinking and drug abuse.  Professionally, Simmons modeled in ads for Martini, Pantene shampoo, and appeared in small roles in the films Grim (1995), Mary Reilly (1996), Cash in Hand (1998), Breeders (1998), and The Wonderland Experience (2000).

By 1997, however, Simmons had become increasingly disenchanted with the endless cycle of work and all-night parties.  According to family members, she stopped being the "London party girl," began reading D. H. Lawrence, watched classic films, and gradually transformed into a "daytime girl."  Seeking spiritual fulfillment, Simmons traveled with her sister, Kumari, to India for a six-week holiday in the spring of 1998.  While vacationing in Goa, a former Portuguese colony on the country's west coast, the 24-year-old actress was approached by Yaniv Malka, a 22-year-old former Israeli soldier.  Living in a rented shack, the near penniless Malka was barely surviving on a small
pension from the Israeli army.  Infatuated with Malka, Simmons moved in with him the day after they met.  Obsessed by his lover's beauty, Malka picked fresh flowers for her every morning, and placed them with candlewax formed into the shapes of hears around her pillow before she woke.  When sister Kumari returned to London, Simmons and Malka left India for Berlin where they eked out a living working in a fruit juice stall.  According to Kumari, one month in Germany alone with Malka convince the actress she had made a terrible mistake.  Malka was too reliant on her, she said, and things had deteriorated to the point where they stayed in different rooms all day and did not speak.

In June 1998, Simmons managed to disengage herself from her lover and returned alone to London.  After receiving several hysterical call from Malka in which he threatened to kill himself, Simmons agreed to see him.  The night before their fateful meeting, she told her father, "He is a loser.  I don't want to end up with a loser."  On June 13, 1998, Malka arrived in London and, after spending the day with Simmons, went with her to a friend's borrowed flat in Islington, North London.  The next day, Simmons' naked body was found in the blood-smeared apartment hanging in the shower from a leather strap.  Later that morning, police spent ninety minutes coaxing a sobbing Malka off the
fifth-floor ledge of a residential block at University College, Central London.  In custody, the former soldier denied strangling his lover to death in anger over her desire to end their relationship.  Instead, he claimed her death was the culmination of a suicide pact they had forged in Germany.  After making love in the apartment, she asked him to strangle her.  Unable to do so with his hands, Malka used a ligature fashioned from a luggage strap to hang her in the shower.  Afterwards, he repeatedly slashed his wrists, arms, and neck with a knife in an unsuccessful attempt to complete the pact.  None of the injuries were remotely life-threatening.  He was still allegedly trying to keep his side of the bargain when police foiled his suicide attempt.  At trial in London's Old Bailey in March 1999, the prosecution discounted the suicide pact theory maintaining Simmons was manually strangled to death by a jealous lover then placed in the shower with a noose around her neck.  The subsequent "faked" suicide attempt was made to bolster Malka's claim of a mutual death pact.  Displaying no emotion, Malka was sentenced to life imprisonment on March 29, 1999.  In February, 2000, an Appeals Court upheld the killer's conviction.

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