Before she was fatally stabbed in a Century City parking garage, Pamela Fayed was preparing to embark on the next chapter of a life that in many ways had been very good to her.
With her husband, James Fayed, she owned a Camarillo-based precious-metals business called Goldfinger Coin and Bullion Sales and an associated Internet firm, e-Bullion. The couple owned a ranch house in a remote canyon near Moorpark and a two-story home in the Camarillo foothills.
But the nine-year marriage was troubled, and after bitter divorce proceedings, the 45-year-old mother of two was about to be single again.
Then about 6:30 Monday evening, as several shocked witnesses looked on, she was slashed repeatedly in the garage at 1875 Century Park East, an upscale office building that houses law firms, financial institutions and entertainment businesses. Her assailant, described as a slender man in his 20s wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, fled in a red SUV, according to LAPD Sgt. Ruby Malachi.
Fayed’s screams for help echoed through the third floor of the building’s parking structure. In the five minutes before paramedics arrived, at least two doctors and other bystanders came to her aid.
But about 90 minutes later, police announced that she was dead.
Authorities said Fayed was at the Century City tower for an unspecified appointment. They said they were seeking a male and did not believe that Fayed’s death stemmed from a carjacking gone awry. They have named no suspects.
Despite living in apparent luxury, some aspects of Pamela Fayed’s life were in turmoil, according to a neighbor and court documents. Security-firm owner Mike Nelson, 49, who lived next door in Camarillo, said that James Fayed, 45, moved out about a year ago.
Nelson said she asked him three months ago about building a “panic room” in her house because of threats she said her estranged husband had made. Nelson said that he recommended she hire a security guard and that he made arrangements for one to call her that afternoon. She did not follow through, he said.
Fayed could not be reached for comment, but in court papers related to his pending divorce, James Fayed alleged that his wife “has a history of making false accusations.” He said that when he contemplated divorce in 2002, Pamela threatened to retaliate by falsely claiming that he had assaulted her and had sexually assaulted one of their daughters.
James Fayed filed for divorce last October. The couple had two children, an 18-year-old daughter from Pamela’s first marriage, and a 12-year-old daughter, whom they had together.
In the divorce papers, Pamela Fayed said that the couple had bank accounts worth $12 million and that her husband was blocking her access to their business records. She asked the court for “ground rules to protect our clients and personal assets.”
Court records also showed that Pamela Fayed tried to get a restraining order against her brother-in-law in 2003, but the request was denied because of “insufficient facts.” She contended in court papers that he had harassed her and made “hateful, racist remarks” after being fired from the family business.
Times staff writers Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein contributed to this report.