Chloe Wiegand's mom says she yelled at stepdad after he dropped child off cruise ship window: 'You killed her'
In July 2019, one-year-old Chloe Wiegand fell 150 feet to her death after her grandfather Salvatore Anello placed her on a ledge on the 11th floor of the Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Freedom of the Seas ship. The toddler died instantly after falling from the window ledge. In a video deposition, Chloe’s mother Kimberly Wiegand can be seen sobbing as she reveals how she broke down after learning of Chloe’s death.
In the video deposition obtained by the Daily Mail, 38-year-old Kimberly said she screamed at the stepfather, Anello, who is Chloe's grandfather. “I screamed, I screamed and I know he was talking back. I said, you killed Chloe and he said, I know,” she said, adding, “I know there was more talking and I don't know what it was anymore. I just remember screaming. I know, I know at some point, he was like down on the ground. I know he was talking, and I remember, like, I don't know if it was like, my sense of time is really messed up.”
As per the Daily Mail, the depositions that were given by Kimberly, her husband Alan, and Anello, were from November 2020, as part of their civil lawsuit against Royal Caribbean. The family blames Royal Caribbean for Chloe's death because of the allegedly dangerous design of their pool area windows.
Kimberly said it was three months before she could bring herself to speak with Anello, who is her stepfather. “I asked him, point-blank, did you know that those windows were open. He said, no. He told me if he wanted me to, he would explain in detail what happened. I told him I did not think I could listen to it. And that's been the conversation that I had with him.”
Talking about why she decided to sue Royal Caribbean, Kimberly said, “Well I think it's fair to say I didn't think that that window should be open in that particular location.” Kimberly said of the footage that shows the fatal accident, “I don't think I can watch that, I'm sorry.”
The ongoing lawsuit the family filed in December 2019 against Royal Caribbean Cruises says that Anello was "closely supervising" his granddaughter "when Chloe walked over to a nearby wall of glass." Anello followed and put the girl up to the window so she could bang on the glass but she slipped from his hands and fell through the open window.
Earlier this month, a court in San Juan, Puerto Rico, sentenced Anello to three years probation after he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in October 2020. Michael Winkelman, his attorney, said Anello has been allowed to serve his probation in his home state of Indiana for his role in the tragic death of his granddaughter.
Anello had initially pleaded not guilty, but in February 2020, he said that he was going to plead guilty so his family could begin to move on from the tragedy. The plea deal allowed Anello to avoid jail time and serve probation in his home state, Winkleman said.