It appeared to be a Hollywood ending to a romance that had been imperilled by separation and East-West politics. On Sept. 4, Tanya Sedorova, carrying her one-year-old son, Misha, stepped off a plane at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport into the arms of Kirby Inwood, a Canadian advertising executive who had fought for 18 months to get her out of the Soviet Union. But only nine days after that reunion, Metropolitan Toronto police were called to the Toronto home to which Inwood, 43, had taken the 31-year-old woman he had met and married during a 1986 tour of the Soviet Union. Tanya Sedorova and Misha both showed evidence of having been beaten, and police arrested Inwood and charged him with two counts of assault causing bodily harm. They then took Inwood’s wife and son to hospital. There, she received care for bruises and a suspected broken nose, while Misha needed treatment for a black eye, welts on his back and a bump on his forehead. Sedorova and the infant are now staying at a local shelter for battered women.
There was no evident explanation of what had gone wrong in the relationship that began when Inwood and the technical schoolteacher met in the Soviet city of Leningrad, where they later married. After Inwood returned to Canada, he wrote to Soviet officials, asking them to allow Sedorova—and the child to whom she gave birth last September—to join him. But Soviet officials refused on the grounds that her
former job, as a low-level technician in a radar factory, made her a security risk.
Inwood organized a publicity campaign and eventually persuaded the Soviet authorities to change their minds. At the airport reunion, Inwood said that he and Sedorova would celebrate Misha’s first birthday at a party with champagne. But last week Inwood faced criminal prosecution and Sedorova and her son were in seclusion. Still, she emerged for an appointment with a Soviet representative in Toronto. And in a statement released after that meeting with Guennadi Samsonov, the second secretary at the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, Sedorova said that she and her son were well and planned to remain in Canada. Meanwhile, Metro Toronto police Sgt. Peter Humble said that more than 30 people had called the department from as far away as England to offer money, shelter or support for Sedorova and her son.
Following the first of three brief court appearances last week, Inwood told reporters that he was innocent. He added: “The word assault on paper looks brutal, but those words don’t reflect the reality of the situation. This is not what it seems to be on the surface.” Inwood is expected to receive a date this week for trial on the assault charges—a procedure that may shed more light on the causes of a fairy tale reunion turning sour.
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