Italian display star Gina Lollobrigida’s former toyboy husband has branded her assistant a ‘social parasite’ after he was convicted of making the most of her weakened mind-set to plunder her property.
Spanish businessman Javier Rigau was in court docket in Rome on Monday to see Andrea Piazzolla obtain a three-year jail sentence for brainwashing the actress to cheat her out of her belongings.
The 62-year-old, accused of faking a proxy November 2010 wedding ceremony to Gina he linked at this time to Piazzolla’s ‘manipulation’ of the wonder queen, mentioned justice had lastly been accomplished as he revealed the convicted prison nonetheless faces two extra trials.
Javier, who insists he remained legally married to Lollobrigida till she died in January aged 95, informed MailOnline in an unique interview: ‘I’m glad they’ve convicted this nasty man.
‘I used to be a co-complainant on this case alongside Gina’s solely son Milko and her solely grandson Dimitri. We’ve got been united from the start.
Gina Lollobrigida and ex-husband Javier Rigau on the 56th Purple Cross Ball in 2006
Andrea Piazzolla, 36, was convicted of ‘brainwashing’ and defrauding Lollobrigida (pictured collectively in Rome in 2019), who rose to prominence within the Nineteen Sixties because the ‘world’s most stunning girl’ and appeared in scores of movies reverse the likes of Sean Connery and Tony Curtis
Gina Lollobrigida in Solomon and Sheba (1959). The actress was as soon as dubbed ‘the world’s most stunning girl’
Javier Rigau (left) and Gina Lollobrigida’s son Milko Skofic attending her funeral this 12 months
‘In Italian the crime Piazzolla has been convicted of is named ‘Circumvenzione di incapace’, which implies manipulating somebody who’s incapable and making the most of their psychological weak spot to plunder their property.
‘It’s a very soiled and a really low crime and sadly the penalties should not that harsh.
‘However the state prosecutors demanded the utmost punishment and the three years Piazzolla received was rather a lot contemplating the usual penalty usually handed down for this sort of conviction.
‘He’s going through one other trial for allegedly having emptied Gina’s dwelling of furnishings she had purchased all through her life from vintage sellers and deceived her utterly by telling her they had been being restored when he and an alleged confederate had in actuality given them to an public sale home to public sale them off.
‘I’m certain he will likely be convicted and get one other jail sentence.
‘On prime of that he has additionally been charged with cash laundering and will likely be tried for that too.
‘We’re satisfied he’ll find yourself going to jail for a very long time when all that is over.
‘The crimes he is but to be tried for won’t ever turn out to be spent and I do know that he is going through a minimal of 4 years if he is convicted of cash laundering plus no matter he is taking a look at if convicted of emptying Gina’s home of her furnishings when that one comes spherical.
Lollobrigida pictured left in 1958 and proper in 1959
Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida on the set of Trapeze, a 1956 American circus movie
‘We waited a few years for justice to be accomplished and justice has been accomplished.
‘Piazzolla has mentioned he’ll attraction this primary conviction however we’re satisfied the attraction judges will ratify this court docket sentence and he will likely be generally known as the everlasting delinquent that has remoted Gina from her household and has preyed on her in a brutal method.
‘Our lawyer Michele Gentilone, who’s one among Italy’s finest prison attorneys and a cousin of former Italian PM Paolo Gentilone who’s the present European Commissioner for Financial system, mentioned within the court docket in entrance of the choose who sentenced Piazzolla that in his total authorized profession he had by no means seen such a critical and manifest instance of the kind of crime he is been convicted of.’
Talking from Rome after attending Monday’s court docket listening to the place the decision and jail sentence was introduced, Barcelona-born Mr Rigau mentioned: ‘I’m nonetheless in Italy having come to assist Gina’s son and grandson and have the satisfaction of seeing this social parasite jailed.
‘Piazzolla was within the entrance row and I used to be simply behind with the son and grandson and our attorneys.
‘If I’m honest about my emotions once I noticed him I do not suppose they may go in a household newspaper. It is not one thing I believe we have to print.
‘He left court docket earlier than the conviction was introduced as a result of he knew what the outcome was going to be. He was as white as a sheet of paper.’
Portrait of Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida with one among her cameras photographed in her villa on the the Appian Method in Rome, November 26, 1972
Gina Lollobrigida poses for photographers as she arrives for the screening of a documentary on Miss Italy in the course of the seventh version of the Rome Worldwide Movie Competition in 2012
The court docket in Rome heard Piazzolla had swindled Lollobrigida out of £9 million value of property, money, vehicles and jewelry from 2013 to 2018.
The 36-year-old was additionally accused of utilizing the actress’s cash to purchase two residences close to Rome’s Spanish Steps and promoting them for £1.75 million.
The actress rose to prominence as ‘the world’s most stunning girl’ within the sixtes and appeared in scores of movies reverse the likes of Sean Connery and Tony Curtis.
When the trial first started earlier than Lollobrigida’s demise, she had insisted Piazzolla had not stolen from her, telling the court docket: ‘He’s at my facet like a son, serving to me to maintain going.’
She went on to assert her solely son had ‘disappeared from my life for years and returned, to not give me affectionate assist, however to take my wealth away from me.’
An skilled informed the court docket Lollobrigida had been swayed by Piazzolla whereas being in a ‘susceptible’ state and couldn’t be trusted along with her funds in consequence.
Prosecutors mentioned he had saved the actress in ‘isolation’ and in a ‘state of vulnerability.’
Barcelona-born Mr Rigau mentioned: ‘I’m nonetheless in Italy having come to assist Gina’s son and grandson and have the satisfaction of seeing this social parasite jailed’ (pictured in 2005)
In addition to being punished with jail time, though he’ll stay a free man till his appeals go in opposition to him if increased courts uphold this week’s verdict, Piazzolla has been ordered at hand over greater than £500,000 to Gina’s son.
Mr Rigau, insisting cash was the least of their worries, informed Mail On-line: ‘What pursuits me most are the a number of convictions I’m assured this man goes to finish up receiving, that everybody is forewarned about this particular person and is aware of they need to keep away from him.
‘A plus after all can be that he has to spend the utmost period of time doable in jail.
‘The choose has 90 days to publish the complete written sentence which can make for very fascinating studying.’
Recalling how Piazzolla wormed his method into Gina’s life and moved in along with her at her villa in Rome after beginning to work for her in 2009 when he was 21, Javier mentioned: ‘He knew the son of a girl who got here to Gina’s home to Photoshop footage of her on the occasional Sunday.
‘The son informed him his mum labored for an important particular person.
‘Piazzolla went to Gina’s in search of a job and received employed to do probably the most menial duties in her home.
‘He is somebody who had by no means studied and had by no means labored and had been maintained by a former accomplice he received pregnant and did not recognise the kid he then fathered along with her earlier than he was compelled to by the courts after which did precisely the identical with one other girl.
‘A 12 months and a half after arriving he had separated Gina from her son and grandson, her lawyer, her administrator and a housekeeper, even a gardener.
Andrea Piazzolla attends the funeral of actress Gina Lollobrigida at Chiesa degli Artisti on January 19, 2023 in Rome
‘He persuaded Gina her longstanding lawyer was stealing from her which was a complete lie and managed to get the administrator out of Gina’s life by convincing her she was the lawyer’s spy.
‘He informed the housekeeper that had been introduced in to interchange the one which died that she could not sleep any extra in the home, although she was in her eighties and had a coronary heart downside.
‘We found Piazzolla had turn out to be the only real director of Gina’s firm in Italy whose shares belonged to 2 corporations in Monaco the place she was formally resident.
‘We’re speaking a few girl who earlier than she began experiencing her psychological issues was very cautious along with her cash.
‘I used to be the one one Gina was defending at one level after Piazzolla had remoted her from everybody else. I used to be with Gina till 2013 till I had an issue with him and his mum over a court docket case they wished me to testify in and I refused to be a part of.
‘Three days later I used to be denounced as a result of Gina had out of the blue ‘found’ she had married me the day earlier than. It was all very silly and I felt very dangerous.
‘I used to be Piazzolla’s final sufferer, the final particular person he went after by claiming I had married Gina with out her consent which was absurd.
Javier Rigau, Milko Skofic and Dimitri Skofic attend the funeral of actress Gina Lollobrigida
‘The explanation lots of people wrongly suppose I used to be Gina’s ex-husband when she died is among the collateral penalties of the garbage this delinquent Andrea Piazzolla has thrown over me, over Gina’s son and over her grandson who has been massacred and left struggling despair.
‘To separate me from Gina he needed to assault our marriage.’
‘By then she had already turn out to be the sufferer of a mythomaniac, a person with an inferiority complicated who has frittered away all her cash, employed non-public planes, moved round in a helicopter, purchased 28 new vehicles by Gina’s firm and offered them shortly afterwards for lower than half.
‘Piazzolla’s been answerable for a complete dilapidation of Gina’s wealth, squandering just about the whole lot he received his palms on.
‘I want he had by no means appeared in Gina’s life and I doubt he would if her former housekeeper, a girl that I appreciated immensely, hadn’t died in 2005.’
Mr Rigau, who has informed prior to now how he met Gina at a celebration in Monte Carlo when he was 23 and Lollobrigida was 57, was at her funeral at the beginning of the 12 months after saying his final goodbye on the non-public clinic in Rome the place she died.
He was acquitted of any wrongdoing by courts in Barcelona and Rome after being accused of faking their November 2010 wedding ceremony by a proxy marriage at a civil ceremony in Barcelona.
Regardless of the Vatican taking motion in 2019, a Spanish newspaper revealed documentation final 12 months showing to point out Rigau and Lollobrigida remained legally married.
Gina informed Javier’s Italian fraud and forgery trial in February 2016: ‘Even once we went travelling we slept in separate rooms and we by no means had intimate relations.’
Gina Lollobrigida’s assistant has been jailed for 3 years in Italy for embezzling £9million from the wonder queen earlier than she died in January aged 95. Pictured: The Italian actress within the movie Solomon and Sheba in 1959
Mr Rigau, who was not in court docket to listen to his ex-partner declare they by no means had intercourse, responded on the time by telling Spanish web site Vanitatis: ‘It is brought on me nice ache seeing Gina saying the issues she has in opposition to our marriage.
‘I’ve seen an individual who does not resemble bodily or mentally the one I had at my facet for years.’
Recalling an October 2006 interview they gave to Spain’s Hola! journal saying their engagement the place Gina revealed the love between them was adopted by ardour, he added: ‘Though we all the time spoke in French, the primary phrases she taught me once I was very younger in Italian had been: ‘Siamo in sieme, andiamo a scopare’ which implies, ‘Let’s be collectively, let’s f##okay.’
‘If I say how outdated she was when she went to mattress with me, I would not present her in a great gentle.’
He insisted in a February 2013 UK newspaper interview: ‘Gina and I married for love and regardless of the whole lot I nonetheless love her very a lot.’
Talking after the Vatican so-called ‘annulment’ of the wedding, Javier mentioned: ‘The Pope has seen match to make a Solomonic determination.’
He insisted at this time to MailOnline: ‘It did not have an effect on the authorized marriage so it is nonetheless inscribed within the civil register and on this court docket case in opposition to Piazzolla which now we have now received I’m described because the husband.’
Mr Rigau has persistently claimed the Italian actress, who starred in such movies as The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1956, Unusual Bedfellows alongside Rock Hudson in 1965 and Good Night, Ms Campbell in 1968, denied information of their wedding ceremony after coming below the affect of Andrea Piazzolla.
Gina had been hospitalised for a while on the Rome clinic the place she died after present process an operation final September for a damaged femur.
Andrea Piazzolla and Gina Lollobrigida attend Superstar Struggle Night time at Enviornment di Verona on September 8, 2018 in Verona, Italy
Lollobrigida beforehand accused Rigau of conning her into marriage in an try and inherit her cash.
She was with the 58-year-old for over 20 years and the couple reportedly deliberate to get married, however the ceremony by no means came about after the star known as it off.
Regardless of splitting up in 2007, the Spanish businessman managed to marry her by proxy in 2010 with out her information through the use of an impersonator to face in as Lollobrigida on the service in Barcelona.
She solely found the wedding in 2013 and Rigau was charged with fraud and forgery.
It comes after Lollobrigida’s son slammed ‘toyboy’ Piazzolla as ‘heartless’ and revealed how the crafty fraudster had even forbidden him from seeing his dying mum.
Milko Skofic, the actress’s estranged son, had claimed Piazzolla took benefit of his aged mom
Mr Skofic, 65, informed Italian TV host Bruno Vespa:’ The primary time I noticed my mom in years, was when she was on her deathbed, and she or he was very emotional.
‘She informed she had accomplished the whole lot unsuitable as she shook her head, I used to be with my son Dimitri as we spoke.’
He added:’ I had anticipated the sentence, Piazzolla was heartless in the direction of my mom and the proof in opposition to him was heavy and concrete.’
Describing how he was forbidden from seeing his mom he mentioned:’ I could not communicate along with her as a result of both I known as and Piazzolla was there and my mom spoke on speakerphone, or he answered.
‘The issue is that I used to be thrown out, I used to be not allowed to enter the home and see my mom. However earlier than that I used to be typically along with her, we lived shut collectively.
‘I wasn’t allowed to speak to her and he in flip informed her I wished to have her dedicated so it seemed as if all I wished was her cash however in actuality I wished to test on what he was spending her cash on.’
When requested if he had been a great son, he replied:’ Sure, the issue is that I used to be kicked out by him and so it made the connection with my mom tough, I wasn’t allowed to see her, he would not let me.’
The court docket in Rome heard how he swindled her out of property, together with an condo within the metropolis and one in Montecarlo, plus a home in Tuscany, vehicles, jewelry and money, between 2013 and 2018 when he labored for her.
A portray of Venus and Cupid which she owned was offered for £10,000 to a French antiques retailer when it was value in all probability ten occasions as a lot.
Piazzolla was discovered responsible on Monday of making the most of Lollobrigida’s failing well being and vulnerability and given three years, though prosecutors had requested for seven.
Prosecutors and monetary consultants are nonetheless attempting to trace down different property he might have offered and hidden away however worry they are going to by no means discover them.
Her son has been awarded €450,000 as an interim however the true worth of her property is estimated to be a lot increased though a lot of it was offered off by Piazzolla.
Gina Lollobrigida (pictured in her home in 2008 in Rome) died aged 95 in January
He received over her belief, moved in along with her and was typically at her facet, and on the similar time pushed her son apart.
Initially earlier than she died Lollobrigida has claimed Piazzolla was harmless of the whole lot and informed the court docket: ‘He’s at my facet like a son, serving to me to maintain going.’
She claimed her son ‘had disappeared from my life for years and returned, to not give me affectionate assist, however to take my wealth away from me’.
In Lollobrigida’s will, the intercourse image cut up her property between her son Milko Skofic Jr and Piazzolla, prompting her household to accuse the assistant of manipulating the actress into giving him a share of her property.
That longstanding authorized dispute took one other twist in Might when Italian authorities compiling a listing of Lollobrigida’s property mentioned they discovered that £9million (€10million) of property, the overwhelming majority of the star’s wealth, have disappeared.
Now Piazzolla, who began working for Lollobrigida in 2009 when he was 21, has been convicted of embezzling that quantity from the actress and ordered to right away hand greater than £500,000 to Mr Skofic.
The Italian received the actress’s belief, moved in along with her in Rome and was typically seen at her facet at glamourous occasions.
Piazzolla was accused of shopping for a Ferrari along with her cash earlier than promoting it and handing the cash to his mother and father. He was additionally accused of fraudulently shopping for a F-Sort Jaguar, which he allegedly offered in 2018 for €130,000 earlier than pocketing the proceeds.
Andrea Piazzolla, Lollobrigida’s driver-turned-manager, was convicted of defrauding her out of lots of of 1000’s of kilos together with shopping for a Pagani supercar
The assistant was additionally accused of utilizing the actress’s cash to purchase two residences close to Rome’s Spanish Steps and promoting them for €2million.
When the trial first started earlier than Lollobrigida’s demise, the actress had insisted Piazzola had not stolen from her. She informed the court docket on the time: ‘He’s at my facet like a son, serving to me to maintain going.’
Lollobrigida claimed her son Skofic, ‘had disappeared from my life for years and returned, to not give me affectionate assist, however to take my wealth away from me’.
However an skilled informed the Rome court docket Lollobrigida had been swayed by Piazzolla whereas being in a ‘susceptible’ state and couldn’t be trusted along with her funds in consequence.
Prosecutors mentioned Piazzolla had saved the actress in ‘isolation’ and in a ‘state of vulnerability’.
However the assistant, who has vowed to attraction in opposition to his sentence, mentioned after the decision: ‘I imagine I used to be the one one who took care of Gina Lollobrigida with love.’
Gina Lollobrigida in a publicity portrait for the movie Lady Of Rome in 1954
Piazzolla’s attorneys had claimed that Lollobrigida was not susceptible and knew what she was doing when she signed the desire and transferred property to the assistant.
In the meantime, Skofic informed Italian newspaper La Repubblica in Might that Piazzolla had ruined the final years of his mom’s life by isolating her from ‘the whole lot she held expensive’.
‘For 3 years, I wasn’t even in a position to get into her home,’ he mentioned. ‘Her pals saved ringing me to ask why nobody answered their telephone calls… Practically all of her closest pals had been avoided her… Every thing was in his palms.’
Skofic launched authorized motion in opposition to Piazzolla as early as 2015, when he accused him of taking management of agency Vissi D’arte which manages Lollobrigida’s property and utilizing it to promote three luxurious properties in addition to shopping for a Pagani supercar.
The newest authorized case associated to 350 objects of artwork and antiques value an estimated £250,000 that Piazzolla is accused of promoting with out Lollobrigida’s information.
Their relationship dates again a minimum of a decade, to when he turned her driver aged 24. He was subsequently promoted to her handyman after which to her supervisor, earlier than transferring to dwell along with her alongside together with his accomplice.
Lollobrigida’s property embrace numerous properties throughout Italy in addition to her work and jewels (pictured: the property in Rome the place Gina’s ninety fifth birthday celebration was held)
Hypothesis has swirled for years about how shut the pair had turn out to be – with Piazzolla typically displaying up at awards ceremonies on her arm.
The actress had described Piazzolla as a ‘son’ and revealed that he has named his daughter Gina after her, describing the little lady as ‘a tiger’.
She described him as ‘a stroke of luck’ who ‘helped me transfer forwards’ along with her life in recent times after she turned estranged from Mr Skofic.
A movie star and intercourse image of the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies, Lollobrigida featured in additional than 60 movies. Together with rival Sofia Loren, Lollobrigida was one among a small variety of Italian stars who achieved worldwide fame with a profession in Hollywood.
She starred in movies similar to The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1956, Unusual Bedfellows alongside Rock Hudson in 1965 and Good Night, Ms Campbell in 1968 – appearing alongside the likes of Sean Connery, Humphrey Bogart and Frank Sinatra.
Recognized affectionately by followers and household as ‘La Lollo’, she additionally starred in Trapeze and Lady of Rome, and cut up her time between a villa in Monte Carlo, a mansion in Rome and one other property in Sicily.
After appearing, she began a profession as a photographer and sculptor within the Nineteen Eighties.