Attorney for Slava Voynov’s wife: She doesn’t want him to face charges

Marta Varlamova, wife of suspended Kings defenseman Slava Voynov, has resumed living with him in the couple’s Redondo Beach home and does not want him to be charged in connection with the incident that led police to arrest him Oct. 20 on suspicion of domestic violence, her attorney said Saturday night.

"She’s not asking for charges to be pressed," attorney Michael J. Walsh of Irvine said in a telephone interview. "She’s not hoping that the police are going to prosecute the case because she doesn’t think that Slava was trying to hurt her and doesn’t think a crime was committed against her."

Walsh said that Varlamova — who initially requested anonymity — wanted her name known in order to clarify her relationship to Voynov, which was known in their native Russia but not known here. Walsh said the couple was married last summer in Russia.

"They’re still together. They’re planning to stay together. That’s not going to change in the foreseeable future," Walsh said.

Varlamova has a 7-year-old daughter from a previous relationship and the girl slept through the incident, Walsh said.

The Orange County Register first reported on Saturday that Varlamova does not wish to proceed with a case against Voynov.

The 24-year-old defenseman was arrested Oct. 20 and suspended with pay by the NHL. He posted $50,000 bail and was released that day. Varlamova was treated at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance and released. Walsh said she is "doing OK" and has not sought treatment since then.

"She didn’t ask for charges to be pressed. She didn’t feel threatened by her husband," Walsh said. "She was not expecting him to be arrested at the hospital — in fact, she was asking to have him come in and help her communicate with the medical personnel and the police. He’s a better English speaker than she is.

"They’re both native Russian speakers and they prefer speaking Russian all the time."

Walsh declined to specify how she was injured. "It was not a punch or a hit that caused this. It was an incident that happened at the home and both Slava and Marta have characterized it as an accident," he said.

In a statement issued Oct. 20, Redondo Beach police said they received a call about 11:25 p.m. Oct. 19 reporting that "a female could be heard screaming for the past 20 minutes and could now be heard crying."

They could not find her in the home but later received a call from the hospital that an adult female was being treated in the emergency room for injuries "that were possibly received during a domestic violence incident … Redondo Beach police officers responded to the hospital and met with the victim, determining that a domestic violence incident did occur in Redondo Beach."

Walsh said Varlamova’s lack of fluency in English and her shock over being injured might have contributed to a miscommunication and led to the accusation against Voynov.

"I think it may be a combination of all those things, as well as people jumping to conclusions," Walsh said. "She does not speak English well. It can be difficult, particularly if people are asking a lot of questions and saying a lot of things quickly.

"She does know and understand some English but is not close to fluent and at the hospital where both the medical personnel and the police were talking to her, there was nobody other than Marta and Slava who spoke Russian and they wouldn’t let Slava help her translate."

Walsh would not directly respond when asked if the NHL had overreacted in suspending Voynov. "I’m really focusing on taking care of Marta’s interest. The NHL interest is for Slava and his attorneys and the Kings," Walsh said. "I have my suspicion that they’re reacting to public pressure resulting from other cases that are not really my concern."

The NFL has recently drawn criticism for its handling of domestic violence incidents involving its players. The NHL based its suspension on a clause in its collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players Assn. that permits the league to suspend a player during the pendency of a criminal case.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has said the league had information that hasn’t been made public. Walsh said that while he hadn’t seen the police report, he had spoken to Voynov and Varlamova with the help of an interpreter and saw the results of an interview she gave to Voynov’s attorney, Craig Renetzky.

"Certainly there are a lot of details that haven’t been released to the media but I don’t think there’s any shocking details that will come to light the way it has happened in some other cases," Walsh said.

Asked what will happen next, Walsh said he’s not sure. He said he hasn’t recently received any requests from the police to talk to Varlamova again; on Wednesday, the Redondo Beach Police Department said it had presented the current status of the investigation to representatives of the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, who requested additional follow-up before making a determination on filing charges related to the incident.

"No one has specifically asked to talk to her in the last few days. If they do, we’ll decide then, when and where and to whom she’s going to talk and if she’s going to give any additional statements," Walsh said. "That hasn’t been decided yet because we haven’t had to make any decisions."

Helene Elliott