Scrolling through social media you are bombarded with video after video, some cute, some funny and some showcasing impressive, gravity-defying stunts. But how do you react when you watch a stunt go horribly wrong as a woman falls from the top of a cliff?
Imagine a beautiful blue sky overlooking clear waters that are almost inviting you to jump in. This is the scene one video posted on Reddit shows. Yet the picturesque setting cannot detract from the sinister turn the video takes.
The footage that was uploaded shows an unidentified man and woman enjoying a sunny day, perched on a cliffside. The video’s title names the area as Cliff Sparta, in the Spanish island of Mallorca.
Although it’s not clear what the relationship between these two daredevils is, they seem to be happy in each other’s company. Certainly, they seem to trust each other, teetering on the cliff’s edge. But what comes next made some viewers of the video question that.
As the video begins to play, the woman, wearing nothing more than a bikini, stands up next to a man in his swimming trunks. The guy is sitting down on the cliff rock and looks relaxed, sunbathing above the sparkling blue water.
But the next few seconds of the video would send shivers down anyone’s spine. The girl moves forward in a way that suggests she has flung herself from cliff edges many times before, but she stumbles and falls.
As it happens, there is a hint of terror in her face. Panicking, she grabs the rock and then attempts to reach out for the man’s leg. However, he shakes her off, sending her crashing down into the water below.
After being presented with this chilling picture, the internet didn’t quite give the straightforward response you might expect. The footage divided viewers, with opinion split between those who expressed concern for the woman and those who thought she was in the wrong.
One internet commenter said, “Soooo dangerous. You gotta commit to the jump.” Likewise, another seemed to agree, saying, “Would have been safer to push her further out than try and stop her from falling.”
But another commenter had a different view on what they’d seen. Consequently, they said, “Well, he did neither actually. He took the leg away, so he wouldn’t get pulled with her and so gave her the worst fall possible.”
And another commenter didn’t just criticize the girl for failing to jump correctly, he accused her of putting the man’s life at risk too. He commented that you have to be “a unique special kind of stupid to try to grab someone else’s limb when you’re going over that would have ended up dragging them over too.”
After the flurry of responses, the man who was responsible for the filming and uploading of the video came forward to reveal the identity of the woman. Filmmaker Alexander Tikhomirov told British social media website UNILAD that the woman is called Mary Shum.
It turns out that Russian model Shum is the ex-wife of Tikhomirov, and they have a child together. She has more than 443,000 followers on Instagram and features in the cliffside video alongside Jay Alvarrez, a fellow Instagram star from Hawaii.
Thankfully, Tikhomirov assured UNILAD that Shum had not been badly hurt. He said, “Mary fell on a rock first – about three meters down – She didn’t break anything, unlike people said, but she did hurt her feet and back.”
He went on to say that the injuries Shum sustained had not been as bad as they might have looked to video viewers. He added, “We went to the hospital later and she couldn’t walk for a few days. But finally everything was good.”
Alvarrez, the man some viewers accused of failing to help Shum, is already well known to internet habitués. He and Alexis Ren make a feted duo, with their relationship an open book to watchers. Until they broke up in February 2017, the pair shared their lives with the internet in social media.
And as it happens, this video is not the first time Alvarrez has come under attack on social media. Alvarrez and Ren’s angry breakup happened online, and Ren claimed that Alvarrez ended their relationship because it “wasn’t good for business anymore.”
However, Tikhomirov is adamant that Shum doesn’t blame Alvarrez for her fall. He said, “He removed [his leg] not because he is an a**hole, but because everything happened in one second.”
Although no one can really say what Alvarrez should have done in that situation, it has become clear how and why the footage came to light. It’s actually a clip from a music video by Alvarrez.
The music video, titled “Summer,” depicts the couple attempting several different jumps. As shocking as the clip may be, Alvarrez released the original video in 2015, so concerned viewers can be put their minds at ease. Shum was not seriously hurt, and according to Tikhomirov, she did not suffer any long-term injuries.