Who is Julia Lemigova? 'RHOM' star's lover was killed and her baby died mysteriously
After countless requests, pleas, and demands from the audience to bring back fan-favorite 'Real Housewives of Miami', NBC finally decided to bring back the hit reality series to its streaming platform Peacock. Alongside its big move from Bravo to Peacock, the show's cast featuring Larsa Pippen, Alexia Echevarria, Lisa Hochstein, Adriana De Moura, and Marysol Patton received a major shakeup in terms of casting with three news ladies being introduced as the new housewives on the upcoming season four.
One of the new housewives is none other than tennis legend Martina Navratilova's wife- Julia Lemigova. Lemigova is already making waves as the first LGBTQIA+ housewife to be a part of the hit 'Real Housewives' franchise. One glance at Lemigova's Instagram page and it's clear that she's living her best life with her two beautiful daughters, enjoying a happy marriage while spending time on her family farm. But this brunette beauty had to face many obstacles before settling down with the love of her life in Miami. If you're curious to know more about Lemigova and her dark past involving the mysterious death of her five-month son that remains unsolved to this day, and the gruesome murder of that baby's father- Edouard Stern, one of the wealthiest men in Europe, then keep reading.
Who is Julia Lemigova?
Today Lemigova is famous as the stunning wife of Martina Navratilova, and soon as the reality star on 'Real Housewives of Miami', but before her marriage to the tennis pro and stint on reality television, Lemigova dabbled in modelling and was crowned as the Miss USSR in 1990, before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although several reports claim that Lemigova was born to a Red Army Colonel in KGB, she claimed that these reports weren't true in one of her interviews. She said, "I read my father was supposed to be in the KGB, which is not true. He was a colonel, yes, but an engineer, involved in the aviation industry. So was my mother. It was how they met.’ They enjoyed a comfortable, middle-class existence. ‘I had a good education and my parents were quite cultured. There would always be trips to the theatre or to see the Bolshoi.’"
Although she enjoyed a comfortable life, Lemigove didn't like her life back in the Soviet Union and dreamt of moving to the West and starting a new life. She believed her beauty was her ticket out. So when she turned 18, she signed up for the Miss USSR pageant and initially won the title of first runner-up, but was soon promoted to Miss USSR after the original winner was disqualified. After winning the coveted title at the age of 18, Lemigova went on to represent the Soviet Union at the Miss Universe pageant in 1991 and became the second runner-up.
Her success in the beauty pageant world opened many doors for this beauty queen. She abandoned the communist world and moved to Paris. She then launched her spa business in Paris called Joiya Spa. In 2009, she went on to launch her own skincare line called Russie Blanche. But her world turned upside down when she crossed paths with one of the wealthiest men in Europe, Edouard Stern. The banking magnate and she hit it off in 1997, and soon Lemigova found herself jet setting across the globe and enjoying a life that many can only dream of.
Julia Lemigova and Edouard Stern's relationship
Stern, who had the notorious reputation of being one of the most arrogant men, was completely smitten by Lemigova and even toyed with the idea of marrying her several times but never went through with his plans. The couple shared a passion for guns and spent time shooting at various ranges. According to various reports, he allegedly had his psychoanalyst meet her for breakfast to determine if she would make a suitable wife. It is rumored the therapist said ‘No’.
Even though the couple never married, in 1999 Lemigova gave birth to a baby boy named Maximilien. Lemigova claimed that Stern was the father of the baby, and he took responsibility initially. He regularly visited the baby and even hired an East European nanny who is known by just her first name as "Maya" was hired to look after him. When Stern's attorney advised him to get a paternity test to determine if he really was the father. A private investigation was launched, which revealed that Stern was one of the three men that Lemigova was sleeping with. This immediately cast doubt over the baby's father, and Stern cut ties with both Lemigova and the baby after the discovery.
Five years later in 2005, Stern was found murdered in his Geneva home. He was found tied to a chair and wearing a skin-colored latex bodysuit, with four gunshots on his body. It was later revealed that he was shot by one of his mistresses, a prostitute named Cecile Brossard, in a bondage session gone wrong. You can read more about Stern's murder here.
The mysterious death of Julia Lemigova's son
Lemigova and Stern's baby boy was born in October 1999, and died at Necker Hospital in Paris in March 2000, while he was in his father's (Stern) care. The baby was said to have passed away under mysterious circumstances. Although the initial official reports stated that the baby died from natural causes, according to DailyMail, a concealed autopsy report revealed that traces of diazepam were found in his bloodstream. The medical examination also suggested that the baby had been shaken violently. The nanny disappeared soon after the death without leaving any traces behind, which rose suspicions. The outlet also reported a source telling them, "In short, Miss Lemigova believes someone, somewhere wanted Maximilien killed. He was a happy, healthy baby and Miss Lemigova loved him deeply. The fact that his father was a leading member of Paris society involved in a frighteningly risky social scene clearly created huge problems for his powerful friends. This may well have been why the baby was murdered. Miss Lemigova will not rest until she finds out exactly what happened."
Unfortunately, the circumstances surrounding the baby's death have never been cleared making it an unsolved mystery to date. In an interview, Lemigova expressed her thoughts on the investigation. She said, "Unfortunately not and it was stopped without me being able to do any further research, so it is out of my control. You cannot force these things. We could not go any further which makes my loss even more painful."
'Real Housewives of Miami' premieres on December 16 and is available for streaming on Peacock.