A US woman known as “the Black Madam” performed deadly cosmetic surgery on a British dancer in an airport hotel room, then used glue to close the wounds and fled when the client went into respiratory distress, witnesses have said.
A judge upheld a third-degree murder charge against Padge Gordon after the British woman’s friend gave evidence about getting silicone injections to enlarge their buttocks in February last year.
Theresa Gyamfi said Gordon gave them the injections in their room at the Hampton Inn in Philadelphia and left when 20-year-old Claudia Aderotimi started having trouble breathing.
The Londoners had no contact information for the woman they had met through an intermediary online and knew only as “Lillian”.
Ms Gyamfi, 22, said they had the same procedure by Gordon at the hotel months earlier and had no problems, and had come back for a “touch-up”. Ms Aderotimi had trouble breathing almost immediately after the second procedure, Ms Gyamfi said, and she died at a hospital hours later.
Gordon, who remains in jail on a 750,000 US dollar bond, looked down at the defence table when Ms Gyamfi described learning of her friend’s death and viewing the body at the hospital.
Delaware County medical examiner Frederic Hellman said the industrial-grade silicone went into the woman’s blood, liver, lungs and brain. He said Ms Aderotimi died of a pulmonary embolism.
Defence lawyer Christopher Mannix said he plans to challenge those medical conclusions at trial, along with allegations that his client performed the injections. Gordon, 42, also known as Padge Windslowe, is also charged with practising medicine without a licence.
Police believe Gordon has performed at least 14 cosmetic surgeries, moving locations and using different names to avoid detection. They investigated Ms Aderotimi’s death, with help from the US Food and Drug Administration, before filing the murder charges.
In the interim, Gordon was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly injuring an exotic dancer at a New Year’s Eve 2011 “pumping party” in Philadelphia, when she allegedly injected a group of dancers on a dining room table. The dancer spent two weeks in hospital with respiratory problems after silicone particles attached to her lungs were too small to remove surgically, her doctor has said.