Italian superstar Gina Lollobrigida captivated audiences when she rose to fame in the ‘50s and ‘60s – but now “the most beautiful woman in the world” is sharing a dark secret about her past.
The Telegraph reported Lollobrigida, who is now 90, announced to Italian TV for the first time Wednesday that she was sexually molested twice. The first horrifying incident occurred when she was 19.
The revelation came after she was asked for her opinion on the Harvey Weinstein scandal. The 65-year-old producer’s reign in Hollywood came crashing down after the New York Times claimed he sexually harassed women for three decades. Actress Rose McGowan, in particular, accused him of rape.
Lollobrigida was able to identify with the victims.
“The first time I was 19, I was still going to school,” Lollobrigida recalled. “The second time, well, I’d rather not talk about it. I was married and I was starting out in films.”
Lollobrigida refused to identify the men who molested her. However, she mentioned one was Italian and the other “foreign.”
Still, Lollobrigida was determined not to let her terrifying encounters prevent her from pursuing a career as an actress. She would go on to become a sex symbol, so popular that Humphrey Bogart once claimed she made “Marilyn Monroe look like Shirley Temple.” Lollobrigida’s first film, in fact, was with Bogart in 1953’s “Beat the Devil.”
She cemented her status as an in-demand star when she appeared in films opposite some of Hollywood’s top leading men, including Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster, Anthony Quinn and Frank Sinatra, to name a few. She also earned a Golden Globe for her 1961 romantic comedy “Come September” alongside Rock Hudson.
Some of her most notable films include 1956’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and 1959’s “Solomon and Sheba” where she appeared as the sexually-charge queen. Her last film appearance was in 1997 before she officially retired from acting.
Lollobrigida resides in Rome and has since developed a career in sculpting and photography. In 2015, Vanity Fair reported her fortune may have been worth around $50 million. She’s also recognized as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations.
“I have never made any compromise, remaining independent and always alone,” she told the magazine at the time. “My strength is my free spirit, and my great imagination gives me strength and vitality.”