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Suicide Leap Survivor Testifies

May 26, 1998

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) _ A mother whose attempted-suicide leap resulted in her 3-year-old daughter’s death testified from a bed Tuesday at her murder trial, saying she was driven to despair by her husband’s abuse.

Farinoosh Dalili gave a nightmarish account of an arranged marriage to Nader Dalili, who she said pushed her down a flight of stairs when she was eight months pregnant, frequently slapped her in the face and berated her for being stupid.

``He didn’t like my cooking, the way I dressed. I didn’t have good style,″ she said. ``I wasn’t smart enough. I was a selfish person who wanted a career.″

Mrs. Dalili, who has 200 pins holding her splintered bones together, has been watching the trial from a hospital bed because it is painful to sit up for long periods. She spoke softly into a microphone as she testified.

On March 3, 1997, she went to the Torrance Marriott Hotel, asked for a room on the highest floor and jumped out the window, falling 10 floors.

The prosecution alleges she had her daughter, Nagen Natalie, in her arms. The defense said the child may have jumped after her mother because they were so deeply attached.

Mrs. Dalili had attempted suicide before by trying to inject air into her veins at the office of an allergy doctor.

The doctor and another witness, preschool teacher Paula Karli, told of seeing large bruises on Mrs. Dalili’s face.

Mrs. Dalili, who left Iran when she was 15, said her husband was angry when he learned that Nagen was going to be a girl. She said he ordered her to find out the child’s sex and when she did, she tried to win his approval by going to his office with a balloon announcing ``It’s a Girl.″

``I was hoping to get some love and caring for this child,″ she said. ``He said, ‘You must be joking. Go back and do it again.’ I started crying and I thought once I had (the baby) I would be alone.″

Dalili testified last week that he was a loving husband who always kissed his wife goodbye when he left home, adored his daughter and never abused either one.

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