18 July 2020 12:35
A MUM who was nearly killed after she jumped from a plane with a parachute that had been tampered with by her husband has revealed the twisted nature of their marriage. Brave Victoria Cilliers, who was at the centre of one of the country's most shocking murder plots, said that she "fought for her life" as she hurtled to the ground before her body smashed into a field. 3 Emile Cilliers had emotionally tormented Victoria and was found guilty of tampering with her parachute Credit: PA:Press Association 3 Victoria spoke of the horror as she plummeted to the ground Credit: Rex Features Writing in the Daily Mail, she revealed the terror as she 'spun wildly towards the ground' and opened up on the sex scandals behind that murder plot. She spoke about how their relationship started before Emile moved in with her after just a few months. Victoria said: "Should I have been more restrained, less trusting, I'd ask myself later.
Even then, there were times he made me feel uncomfortable — like when he criticised his ex-wife, Carly, saying she was lazy, work-shy and he'd never even loved her. "I soon met her myself as she insisted on vetting me before letting their kids come over, and we got along fine. But just as Carly was leaving, she dropped a bombshell: 'I assume you know about the other children...' "I felt sick. It turned out Emile had another two kids by a girlfriend, but that she refused to let him see them. The idea that he'd been deliberately hiding this from me was almost too much to bear." When she asked Emile about he, she said he began to cry and insisted he didn't want to lose her. Emile proposed to Victoria at a cheetah sanctuary during a trip to South Africa to visit his parents in 2011. They married in South Africa months later after she suffered a miscarriage. Victoria recalled then how she was left with the financial strain and burden, and how she discovered emails to Emile from a sex club. She wrote in the Daily Mail: "'Oh,' said Emile. 'Well, they just send me messages every so often because I used to go there with my ex-wife.' "He was clearly lying. Why would they suddenly start contacting him years later, when he had a different email address? "A week later, more messages appeared — this time from a woman. One of them read: 'I had a great time tonight.' Emile had replied: 'Yeah, me too.' When she confronted him, he insisted his account had been hacked and that she was paranoid. Emile was arrested on suspicion of murdering his wife in May 2015. He was found guilty at his second trial in 2018 he was told he would serve a minimum 18 years in prison. Recalling the shocking parachute incident, Victoria said: "As the ground loomed ever closer, I forced myself to push fear from my mind. I just have to fix this, I told myself, as I fought for my life. My children need me." The jump was Emile's idea, something that Victoria clung to after months of arguing, lies and emotional abuse. Victoria Cilliers It was her 2650th jump, but even on the day, she had a gut instinct screaming at her not to jump from the aircraft. As she plunged 3,000ft, she said how she knew something was wrong when she felt an 'uneven jolt' as she pulled the parachute. She looked up to see that the lines of her parachute were twisted, but luckily she was an experienced jumper so knew what to do to untwist them. But this manoeuvre didn't work to slow her descent and she began to violently spin towards the ground. With the ground getting closer and closer, she detached the main parachute and deployed the back up and prepared herself for the inevitable jolt, but it didn't happen. "As I plummeted in a violent spin through the sky, there was no sound but the scream of the air. I had no idea how close I was to the ground because my eyes were fixed on the useless parachute above me. "Then out of nowhere, I heard a loud metallic bang. And everything went black." Victoria's fall was broken by soil in a field that had recently been ploughed, and even though she survived, she broke her pelvis and ribs, fractured her spine in four places and suffered a collapsed lung. This wasn't the first time that Emile, an Army troop commander, had tried to kill Victoria. Soon after their son Ben was born, Victoria woke up one morning to smell gas. It was revealed in court that he had tampered with the gas pipe in their kitchen. After the gas pipe leak was revealed, Victoria text Emile who was on base at the time, joking that he was trying to kill her. "'Why?' he quickly replied. 'You cannot be serious about the comment you've just made. Why would you think that?" Most read in News TOLL PROBE Department of Health pauses daily Covid death toll figures over 'dodgy stats' Exclusive BRIDE HIS TIME Prince Andrew gives Beatrice away at socially-distanced royal wedding SICK SEX ATTACKS Ex-BBC presenter guilty of 40 sex offences against kids and adults Exclusive I TAKE BEA Princess Beatrice MARRIES in secret royal wedding in front of Queen & Andrew GAME CHANGER Covid-19 antibody test that gives results in 20MINS passes first major trials KING'S HEIR GONE Same looks, same love of music & like grandad Elvis, Ben's gone too soon Speaking of the lead up to their jump, Victoria revealed the torment that she faced in her poisonous marriage: "Emile had driven me to a point where I didn't even recognise myself any more." She said she had no confidence to leave their "clearly toxic" relationship. 3 Emile Cilliers was arrested on suspicion of attempting to murder his wife on 10 May 2015 Credit: Rex Features