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Comaneci Confirms Suicide Attempt, Magazine Says

February 19, 1990|From Wire Service Reports

NEW YORK — Nadia Comaneci confirmed rumors that she tried to kill herself at age 15 by drinking bleach, according to Life magazine's March issue.

Comaneci said she was hospitalized for two days and was "glad because I didn't have to go to the gym," according to the magazine.

It had been rumored, and the 1984 film "Nadia" indicated, that Comaneci attempted suicide at the height of her fame in 1977 after scoring perfect 10s in the Montreal Olympics in 1976. She had denied the rumors, however.

Comaneci also said in the magazine article that her recent defection from Romania helped trigger the revolution there.

She said her flight to the West in November hit her homeland "like a bomb. A bomb for the government. Because what will the people think? That even Nadia leaves Romania.

"They thought I had the good life, but I didn't. I lived just like the others," Comaneci said.

About a month after Comaneci left, Romania's Communist government was overthrown and dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was executed.

Comaneci denied reports that she was the mistress of Ceausescu's son, Nicu.

"Why people are telling these lies?" she said. "Because I work for him at the Young Communist Party--only to make the money. And I am famous. I am the famous one. So when people see Nicu and see me, they think we are lovers only because they know me. All lies."

She and Constantin Panait, a 36-year-old roofer and Romanian emigre who helped plan her escape, live temporarily in Los Angeles, where she is working on a movie.

Comaneci said she and Panait, who has a wife in Hallandale, Fla., don't plan to marry.

Comaneci is considering various offers and is going to do commercials on Italian television for household soap and detergent, Life said.

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