Gina Lollobrigida's 'toyboy' is jailed for embezzling £9million of her ... trends now
Andrea Piazzolla, 36, was convicted of 'brainwashing' and defrauding Lollobrigida, who rose to prominence in the 60s as the 'world's most beautiful woman' and appeared in scores of films opposite the likes of Sean Connery and Tony Curtis.
Piazzolla, described as a 'toyboy' by Italian media, swindled Lollobrigida out of £9million worth of property, cash, cars and jewellery from 2013 to 2018 while working as her assistant, a court in Rome heard.
The 36-year-old cared for Lollobrigida in her final years and even moved in with the actress at her villa in Rome, where he allegedly bought sports cars for hundreds of thousands of pounds with the actress's money before selling them.
He was found guilty on Monday of taking advantage of Lollobrigida's age and vulnerability to con her out of the vast majority of her estate.
Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida 's 'toyboy' has been jailed for three years in Italy for embezzling £9million from the beauty queen before she died in January aged 95. Pictured: Gina Lollobrigida in the film Solomon and Sheba in 1959
Andrea Piazzolla, 36, was convicted of 'brainwashing' and defrauding Lollobrigida (pictured together in Rome in 2019), who rose to prominence in the 60s as the 'world's most beautiful woman' and appeared in scores of films opposite the likes of Sean Connery and Tony Curtis
Milko Skofic, the actress's estranged son, had claimed Piazolla took advantage of his elderly mother
In Lollobrigida's will, the sex symbol split her assets between her son Milko Skofic Jr and Piazzolla, prompting her family to accuse the assistant of manipulating the actress into giving him a share of her estate.
That longstanding legal dispute took another twist in May when Italian authorities compiling an inventory of Lollobrigida's estate said they found that £9 million (€10 million) of assets - the vast majority of the star's wealth - have disappeared.
Now, Piazzolla, who started working for Lollobrigida in 2009 when he was 21, has been convicted of embezzling that £9million from the actress and ordered to immediately hand more than £500,000 to Skofic.
The Italian won the actress's trust, moved in with her in Rome and was often seen at her side at glamourous events.
Piazzolla was accused of buying a Ferrari with Lollobrigida's money before selling it and handing the money to his own parents. He was also accused of fraudulently buying a F-Type Jaguar, which he allegedly sold in 2018 for €130,000 before pocketing the proceeds.
The 36-year-old was also accused of using the actress's money to buy two apartments near Rome's Spanish Steps and selling them for €2million.
When the trial first began before Lollobrigida's death, the actress had insisted Piazzola had not stolen from her. She told the court at the time: 'He is at my side like a son, helping me to keep going.'
Lollobrigida claimed her son Skovic, 'had disappeared from my life for years and returned, not to give me affectionate support, but to take my wealth away from me'.
But an expert told the Rome court that Lollobrigida had been swayed by Piazzolla while being in a 'vulnerable' state and could not be trusted with her finances as a result.
Prosecutors said Piazzolla had kept the actress in 'isolation' and in a 'state of vulnerability'.
But the assistant, who has vowed to appeal against his sentence, said after the