The Daily Telegraph
Italian actress who claimed her marriage was faked loses trial
GINA LOLLOBRIGIDA, the Italian actress who was once hailed as the most beautiful woman in the world, has lost a bizarre legal battle in which she claimed that her former boyfriend conned here into to a fakea e marriagea age in order to get et his hands on her fortune.
Ms Lollobrigida, ollobrigida, who was one of Hollywood’sod’s biggest stars in the 1950s and nd 1960s, accused Javier Rigau, who is 34 years her junior, of tricking her into signing documents which gave permission rmission for a wedding in Spain in which she was representedresented by a proxy.
The 89-year-old former sex symbol claimed she had no idea that t the ceremony in Barcelona, na, in which she was representedresented by a Spanish woman, Maria Guimera,imera, had taken place until she read d about it by chance ce on the internet. .
The actress took her exboyfriend to court in Rome, where she lives in a villa on a well-preserved stretch of the ancient Appian Way.
During the twoyear trial she said she had never even slept with Mr Rigau, let alone married him. “Even when we went travelling we slept in separate rooms and we never had intimate relations. I never once went to his house in Barcelona. He came here [to Rome] a few times to have ave dinner,”d er, s she e sa said.d. But the court rejected her case, ruling that the wedding in Barcelona in Nov 2010 was entirelyentir valid. The court acquitted 55-year-old Mr RigauR of all charges, includi including fraud and falsifying doc documents. Prosecuting la lawyers had called for the CatalanCa businessman to be se sentenced to eight months in prison,p accusing the Spaniard ofo trying to “profit” from “the acquisitiona of the state of marriagema and inheritance rights,righ to the detriment of Ms Lollobrigida”. Claudia Terracina,Ter a prosecutor, told the court that the actress had at one point considered marrying Mr Rigau in New York but changed her mind, a decision which is said to ha have disappointed the Spaniard. He was accused of arranging the proxy marriagem in 2010 and then havingh Ms Lollobrigida un unintentionally ratify it two years later by persuadingpersu her to sign a ad document, which he is said to have told her involved a defamation case.
“The aim of the accused was to marry her in order to have access to her immense wealth,” the prosecutor said.
That was strongly denied by Mr Rigau’s lawyers, who said Ms Lollobrigida’s accusations had no foundation. They said Mr Rigau was wealthy in his own right and never had any intention of claiming the actress’s money.
Under Italian law, the judge in the case has 90 days in which to explain the ruling in more detail. “The court’s ruling shows that there was no fraud and that the church wedding was absolutely legitimate,” said Alessandro Gentiloni, Mr Rigau’s lawyer.
Fabrizio Siggia, Ms Lollobrigida’s lawyer, said they would appeal the sentence once details of the ruling were released. “We respect the sentence and will wait to understand why the judge acquitted the defendant,” he said. “My client insists that she never married him.”
Known in Italy as “La Lollo”, and recognised as a leading sex symbol in her day, Miss Lollobrigida starred in romantic comedies and big-screen epics opposite Errol Flynn, Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis. She was often compared with Sophia Loren and Claudia Cardinale – two other sultry Italian actresses of the era.
She made her first Hollywood film, Beat the Devil, with Humphrey Bogart
in 1953 and starred in Solomon and Sheba with Yul Brynner.
After retiring from acting she established a career as a sculptress and photographer and became involved in humanitarian causes, acting as a special representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund.