Evgeniya Vavrinyuk, the woman who has accused Semyon Varlamov of assault and kidnapping, spoke to reporters in Denver through an interpreter on Thursday night, painting a picture of the Colorado Avalanche goaltender as an arrogant serial assailant who felt he was above the law.
Vavrinyuk said Varlamov had been drinking for more than 12 hours before he returned to their Denver apartment on Monday morning around 6 a.m. and began kicking and beating her.
"He was having a lot of fun, he was laughing," she said. "He has no concept of when to stop drinking, and when he drinks he turns into an animal."
She said Varlamov had beaten her at least four times previously during their year-long relationship, but the incidents occurred in other countries where authorities choose to look the other way when called to domestic disputes.
"In Yaroslavl [Russia, where Varlamov played during the NHL lockout], he beat me often," she said. "The police came multiple times, but he was never punished for it. Nothing was done about it. There were witnesses, but nobody took it seriously.
"We went to the Maldives in June. He had a lot to drink there. He tried to drown me. He grabbed my hair, beat me up. I had a concussion . . . I was lying on the ground. He grabbed a huge bicycle and began beating me with it."
Vavrinyuk said she came forward after the latest incident because she has confidence in American laws and their ability to protect women's rights. She said she wants Varlamov to go to jail, but just as important, she want everyone to know who he really is.
"I want everyone to know what he's capable of," she said. "I want people to know his real face."
She said she remained in the relationship with Varlamov because she truly loved him, and was hopeful that he could change as she had dreams of starting a family with him.
She also expressed fear of returning to Russia. Vavrinyuk said that both she and her mother have received death threats through the social media site VKontakte.
"The fans in Russia are supporting him, not her, they're glad he beat her up," her interpreter said. "She wonders how others would feel if their daughter had been beaten up as she was."
Varlamov's lawer, Jack Rotole, has declined to comment on the case, but the goaltender's agent, Paul Theofanous, insists that Varlamov "is completely innocent of all of these charges."