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Iconic Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida loses 'fake marriage' case against Spanish husband

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Iconic Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida loses 'fake marriage' case against Spanish husband
The couple pictured together in 2001 in happier times. Photo: AFP
13:53 CET+01:00
Gina Lollobrigida, the iconic Italian actress, has lost her court battle to prove she was tricked into marrying her former Spanish boyfriend, who is 34 years her junior.

The legendary screen siren, who celebrates her 90th birthday in July, accused her former boyfriend Javier Rigau y Rafols, 55, of marrying her without her knowledge in 2010, in a bid to inherit her €40 million fortune.

Lollobrigida, who was one of the most famous and glamorous actresses of the 1950s and 1960s claimed that she was conned into signing documents that enabled the Catalan businessman to “marry her by proxy” at a ceremony in Barcelona.

The ceremony took place in 2010 with a then 72-year-old friend of Rigau's taking the place of Lollobrigida.

When challenged with a lawsuit in 2013, he claimed that she had agreed to a stand-in bride in a bid to avoid publicity, while she insisted that as she didn't speak Spanish she had no idea what she was signing.

Although the pair were once engaged, Lollobrigida told the court in Rome that they had never slept together and she had ended the relationship.

Ms Lollobrigida claimed Mr Rigau asked her, during a visit to Rome in 2014, to sign a legal document that she thought was about a defamation case when in fact she was actually authorising their marriage under Italian law.

“He was planning to wait until she died, then say he was her husband and claim her wealth,” Ms Lollobrigida's lawyer, Fabrizio Siggia, said during the trial.

The court has ruled that the actress' accusations of marital fraud by Mr Rigau were baseless, according to Spanish digital newspaper Vanitatis.

“We respect the sentence but it is obvious we will appeal,” said Mr Siggia after the verdict was read out on Thursday.

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