Porn icon Pozzi helped to die

Fri, 04/13/2007 - 05:44

Italian porn icon Moana Pozzi was helped to die after begging not to suffer a lingering death from cancer, Italian police believe.

Prosecutors here have opened a probe into the actress's death in Lyon 13 years ago, in which her husband Antonio Di Ciesco is suspected of euthanasia.

The probe comes after Di Ciesco told Rome daily Il Messaggero last week he injected air into his wife's drip after she begged him to end her suffering.

"I don't want to end up in a bed with tubes sticking out of me everywhere, no longer in control of my body," Di Ciesco said Moana told him, asking him for a "sacrifice in the name of love".

Di Ciesco, who said he had confessed in order to lay to rest the urban legend that Moana was still alive somewhere, said he had tried to dissuade his wife but did not regret their decision.

"It was a decision we took with serenity...the right choice, because there was no other way out, but one which cost me a lot".

A day after Di Ciesco's revelation in excerpts of a forthcoming book, Pozzi's former manager Riccardo Schicchi accused Di Ciesco of murdering the 33-year-old actress.

"I spoke to her on the phone the night before her death and she had no intention of asking for euthanasia," he said.

Schicchi said he had pressed charges to "safeguard the memory" of Pozzi, who is still a legend to Italian porn fans.

On Thursday Rome prosecutors said they were poised to question Di Ciesco, Schicchi and Pozzi's mother and had obtained medical records from the French clinic where Pozzi died.

If Di Ciesco confirms his reported account, he could be charged with "killing a consenting adult," police said.

Pozzi's unexpected death in September 1994, kept secret for day afterwards, spawned a rash of rumours and conspiracy theories.

In 2005 Italian police closed an inquiry into claims the blonde actress had faked her death to lead a new life away from the porn world.

The previous year, prosecutors shelved another inquiry into claims Pozzi fled the spotlight to hide her links to one or several top politicians.

In her own memoirs, published in 1991 under the title The Philosophy of Moana, Pozzi referred to numerous liaisons with important people but named no names.

Her death followed a major upheaval on the Italian political scene, when vast corruption scandals brought down the once-dominant Christian Democrat and Socialist parties.

On several Internet web sites, including Wikipedia, disgraced Socialist ex-premier Bettino Craxi is cited as "her most famous secret lover".

Pozzi, who came from an affluent and bookish family, began a career as an aspiring starlet in 1981, straight after leaving school. She was given a score of bit parts, even working under legendary director Federico Fellini as a curvaceous model in the movie Ginger and Fred.

However, she never made it in mainstream movies and turned to porn in the late 1980s, hooking up with Schicchi and his Hungarian-born star Ilona Staller - better known by her stage name Cicciolina.

Staller became an international celebrity in 1987 when she won a parliamentary seat with the Italian Radical Party.

Pozzi later joined Staller in founding the Love Party, campaigning to legalise brothels, introduce better sex education and create 'love parks'.

As articulate as she was voluptuous, Pozzi excelled at publicly defending her type of films.

She ran in the 1992 national elections and again in local elections in Rome in 1993.

Although she never won a seat, her electoral stripteases on her first campaign trail and her more sober rallies the second time around won her thousands more fans.

She went on to become a popular TV talk show guest and hosted several variety shows - the first porno star to break the mould in this way.

Pozzi, whose films are still in demand today, is said to have left her entire fortune to cancer research.

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