Talk show under fire after man stabs ex-girlfriend
22 November 2007, Madrid - A Ricki Lake-style TV show has come under fire after a man stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death days after she rejected his offer of marriage on the program. Ricardo, 30, from Alicante, proposed to Svetlana, a 30-year-old Russian on Antena 3's 'El diario de Patricia' last Wednesday.
22 November 2007
Madrid - A Ricki Lake-style TV show has come under fire after a man stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death days after she rejected his offer of marriage on the program. Ricardo, 30, from Alicante, proposed to Svetlana, a 30-year-old Russian on Antena 3's 'El diario de Patricia' last Wednesday.
Five days after she turned him down, he went to her house, where he slit her throat with a knife.
The program has been roundly criticized for its actions, after it emerged that Svetlana had filed two police complaints against her ex-boyfriend, one of which had led to him appearing in court on domestic-violence charges.
In fact, on October 31, Ricardo was provisionally sentenced to 11 months in prison, as well as having a two-year restraining order filed to keep him at least 500 meters away from her.
However, as the police had not yet located Ricardo to notify him of the ruling, the order was not in effect when the couple attended the program, nor when Svetlana was murdered.
Among the critics of the actions of the show's production company, Boomerang TV, is the women's secretary of workers' union CCOO, Pilar Morales, who said yesterday that it "is not tolerable that [TV programs] should act as mediators in cases of separation [...] nor force unwanted situations for women who are going through painful situations which, in the case of Svetlana, end in their actual murder."
However, Boomerang was quick to defend itself, saying that it had done everything it could to research the background of the couple, and had not found any information about their violent history.
"We ask them absolutely everything," said Baldomero Limón, program director of the production company. "He called saying that he wanted to ask Svetlana for forgiveness, saying that they'd had an economic problem and that he wanted her back. He mentioned something about jealousy, but didn't attach much importance to it."
Svetlana was then called, and told that someone close to her wanted to say something to her on the program. "She thought it could be someone from her family in Russia," says Limón. "But she also talked of the possibility that it might be her ex.
She considered that to be one of the possibilities, and said that it wasn't a problem."
The two were then given a long form to fill out, asking, among other things, if they had suffered any kind of physical abuse or if they had any pending judicial issues. "All of the evidence suggested a normal relationship," says Limón.
But the relationship turned out to have been anything but normal, and the young Russian, who leaves behind a two-year-old son, became the 70th fatal victim of domestic violence in Spain this year so far.
[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ MÓNICA C. BELAZA / Santiago Hernández Galán 2007]
Subject: Spanish news