John Palcewski (forioscribe) wrote,
John Palcewski
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The Sofia - Maria Connection

Transcripts of International News re The Sophia/Maria Connection

National Enquirer, September 12-19, 2003
SOPHIA LOREN LOVE CHILD FUROR

An American woman has caused an uproar in Europe—claiming she is the love child of Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni.

The woman—known only as Maria—is keeping her last name secret, but she told The ENQUIRER that she is not looking for any money from the star and won’t ask her to undergo a DNA test.

“I only wish that she confirms what my adoptive parents revealed to me about a year ago,” says Maria, 39.

The scandalous story is sending shockwaves across Europe and has been disclosed in detail to The ENQUIRER by Maria’s live-in companion, American photographer and author John Palcewski.

While Maria’s evidence is slim at best, her story is intriguing.

Last year, her parents divulged to her that her real parents were the two legendary movie stars, according to Palcewski.

“In 1963 Sophia and her co-star Marcello Mastroianni were filming ‘Yesterday, today and Tomorrow’ in Naples. While shooting that film Sophia realized she was pregnant, according to her authorized biography. She was 28 and married to producer Carlo Ponti.

“According to the biography, she suffered a miscarriage in her fourth month.”

In truth, there was no miscarriage, says Palcewski, who claims the newborn was adopted by a childless American couple.

Sophia Loren was unreachable for comment, but friends of the legendary star scoff at Maria’s claim, maintaining it is utter nonsense. Her agent Leonard Hirshan dismissed the charge with a “no comment.”

Concluded Palcewski: “Maria doesn’t look like anyone in her family, and I don’t see any reason for Maria’s father to make up such a story after keeping it secret for 40 years.”





The New York Daily News August 25, 2003
Sophia + Marcello = Maria?
Italian beauty Sophia Loren, the illegitimate child of actress Romilda Villani and Riccardo Scicolone, may have had a bundle of secrecy herself.
Or so claims John Palcewski, an American short-story writer. Palcewski told an Italian journalist that his girlfriend, Maria, who lives on the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples, is the daughter of the screen legend.
"[Her father] admitted [to Maria] that he was not her biological father and that her mother was a famous Italian movie star who had conceived her while making the film 'Ieri, oggi e domani' ['Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow']," Palcewski told the Italian press, citing a Loren film that won an Oscar in 1965 for Best Foreign Language Film.
"Her co-star and lover was Marcello Mastroianni."
[Mastroianni's only child, actress Chiara, was born to Catherine Deneuve.]
Sources in Loren's camp bristle at the accusation.
"She has no daughter," an irate woman at Loren's Switzerland digs told us over the phone. She would not give her name but explained she was employed to "clean the house" and "close the windows."
"People are crazy," the professional window-closer went on. "There are a lot of sick people who say they are her husband or child. Once a black lady claimed she was the daughter of Sophia Loren!"
Loren, the indisputable mother of two boys, writer/director Edoardo Ponti and conductor Carlo Ponti Jr., was unavailable for comment. Her U.S.representatives said she is in Europe and unreachable.
* * *


English translation of an interview that appeared in the Italian newspaper, Il Golfo, on 19 agosto 2003.

Q & A
Italian Journalist Oscar Pantalone Interviews John Palcewski:

Q. Tell me, John, what brought you to Forio?

A. I came to the island of Ischia in November, 1999, to gather material for an “imagenovel trilogy” I’m writing, based on the life of Maria, my girlfriend, who grew up in Buonopane. I believed that in order to fully understand her, I should spend some time studying the culture of the island that shaped her character.

Q. In an earlier conversation with me, John, you mentioned that in the course of writing this trilogy you came across some rather surprising information. Can you elaborate on this?

A. Yes. Originally Maria’s story was that of a conventional love triangle. A married woman meets another man and falls in love, which sets up a struggle between husband, wife, and lover. But things took a wholly unexpected turn that made it a much more compelling story.

Q. So this story is basically a biography?

A. It is a true story cast in a fictional form, yes.

Q. Go on, please.

A. As I describe near the end of Book I, Maria learned that she needed to undergo an operation to remove a growth on her cervix. Her surgeon said it would be a good idea for her to obtain a supply of her rare blood type, as a precaution. The doctor suggested she ask her parents to give their blood. But when she asked her father, he refused. And he said also that her mother could not give blood either. This stunned Maria. She could not understand why her father would refuse such a request.

Q. What was the reason? Did he have medical problems?

A. No. He finally explained that he was not in fact Maria’s biological father. Rather, she was adopted in Naples, shortly after her birth on January 14, 1964.

Q. So who was her biological mother?

A. That was the first question she asked her adoptive father. At first he was reluctant to answer because he had intended to keep it a secret forever. But he finally admitted that her mother was a famous Italian movie star, who had been making a film in Naples entitled “Ieri, oggi, e domani.” Sophia Loren. Her co-star and lover was Marcello Mastroianni.

Q. That must have been quite a surprise.

A. Indeed it was. And it put Maria into considerable conflict. On the one hand, she was deeply hurt that she had been abandoned. On the other she was curious to know if Sophia had ever expressed any interest in learning what had happened to her daughter. But then Maria did not know if she could handle Sophia denying that she was her biological mother. A very complex situation.

Q. Did you have any doubts about the veracity of the story?

A. Of course. As a journalist I immediately began to investigate it. After several weeks of effort I came up with what American lawyers call a “compelling circumstantial case,” which strongly suggests it’s true. In any event, there is nothing that I uncovered that contradicts the story.

Q. What are some of the things that lead you to believe it is true?

A. Maria’s birth date is one that coincides with Sophia being in Naples making a movie. Another fact concerns the name Maria. In Maria’s family in Buonopane there are no women by that name. Sophia, on the other hand, has a sister named Maria.

Q. Please go on.

A. Sophia’s latest TV movie, “Among Strangers,” is one that she co-wrote with her director son, Edouardo. In it she plays the role of a woman with a dark secret—that many years ago she had given up a daughter for adoption.

Q. This suggests that in the role she drew from her own personal experience, doesn’t it?

A. Yes. But to my mind the most persuasive thing that makes the case is that Maria does not look like anyone in her family. But she does have a strong resemblance to both Sophia and Marcello.

Q. Have you taken photographs of Maria?

A. Yes, and I’ve put them on a website, www.Palcewski.com/M. Now, as I said before, all this does not add up to absolute proof. But it strongly backs up Maria’s father’s assertion.

Q. What does Maria plan to do next?

A. Maria remains very conflicted. She realizes that it would be extremely difficult to confront Sophia directly on such a delicate matter. But then she feels that if Sophia has never been able to find her, she ought to be given the opportunity. Perhaps Sophia might read this interview and then decide to make contact. Or not. It’s entirely her choice.

Q. Thank you, John, for sharing this fascinating story. I hope everything works out well for Maria.

A. You’re welcome, Oscar. I, too, hope this tale has a happy ending.


* * *


English translation of article that appeared in Corriere Della Sera, on 20 agosto 2003


"I AM A WRITER, SEEKING SOFIA LOREN'S DAUGHTER"


The story of an american short-story writer triggers curiosity on the isle. And it's already a Maria-hunt.

ISCHIA - "I am an american short-story writer and I'm following in the tracks of the illegitimate daughter of Sofia Loren." This piece of news, thrown in a banner headline, has obviously shaken the green isle. "Is Sofia Loren's illegitimate daughter at Ischia?": this was the question posed by Il Golfo, a newspaper directed by Domenico Di Meglio; in yesterday's edition it featured an interview with John Palcewski, american, photographer and eccentric writer of short stories, who speaks of a certain Maria, possibly the daughter of the famous Sofia. Palcewski has lived in Ischia since 1999, collecting material to make an 'imagenovel trilogy': the first two books have been already finished, and the third is close to completion. Palcewski's interviewer is Oscar Pantalone, a photographer, who in his foreword tells how he met Palcewski last June and how they instantly became good friends. In the interview, the american writer mentions that for a minor surgery, Maria needed blood from either one of her parents: "But when she asked her father, he refused." - says Palcewski - "And he said also that her mother could not give blood either... He finally admitted that he was not her biological father and that her mother was a famous Italian movie star, who had conceived her while making a film entitled 'Ieri, oggi, e domani': Sofia Loren indeed".
Palcewski tells his interviewer (who obviously asks what leads him to believe this is a true story) that he has investigated the whole matter for a long time and that he has put together a collection of clues which -- to use a common phrase -- amount to evidence. Truth or fiction? A good writer never tells. Meanwhile, this mysterious story has invaded the whole isle."

* * *



English translation of a second interview that appeared in the Italian newspaper, Il Golfo, on 1 settembre 2003

Q & A
Italian Journalist Oscar Pantalone once again interviews John Palcewski:

Q: Is it possible that Sophia gave up a daughter for adoption but never wished to see her again?

A: It’s possible, but we must remember the last movie Sophia made in 2002. It is entitled “Between Strangers,” and she made it in collaboration with Edoardo Ponti, her son, the director. In a role that she wrote for herself, she plays a woman with a big secret. Which is that many years ago she gave up a daughter for adoption and has been struggling with guilt for nearly 40 years. That suggests to me that Sophia is somehow trying to make contact, after having failed to do so all this time.

Q: After the Il Golfo interview was published, newspapers like Corriere Della Sera and The New York Daily News picked up the story. What was your reaction?

A: I was happy to see that so far the news coverage has treated this story with the seriousness that it deserves. And of course I see it as a story of great pain and sadness.

Q: You appear to have very strong feelings about this story. Why?

A: My passion comes from a deep personal understanding of what Maria is going through now. Like her, I too was abandoned as an infant by my mother. My father and others in his family said she was an immoral, sinful and wicked woman. But later in life I found my mother. She told me the whole story, which I will not get into now. But I soon came to understand that she was not the evil person everyone made her out to be. And that is why I now have great empathy for Maria. And for Sophia as well.

Q: Many have suggested that perhaps your deep love for Maria leads you to believe this incredible story is true. How do you react to the question?

A: Yes, I can understand why some people would feel that way. But I have been a journalist all my professional life, and when I first heard the story I was skeptical. In my investigation, I was sure that I would quickly find facts showing that the story is false. But to my great surprise I found compelling circumstantial evidence that supported the story, and not a single contradiction anywhere.

The date of Maria’s birth fits perfectly with Sophia’s being in Naples filming “Ieri, oggi e domani.” In Sophia’s authorized biography she acknowledges getting pregnant at that time, but then said that she lost the baby in “the fourth month of pregnancy.”

There are many other things that led me to the conclusion that Maria’s adoptive father did not lie when he revealed that Sophia is her biological mother.

Q: You have said that Maria does not wish to speak to the news media about this subject. Why?

A: Maria has asked me to keep her identity and location secret because she does not want the stress that would surely come from talking to news people.

Learning of the adoption a year ago has affected her profoundly, and other emotionally wrenching things have occurred both directly and indirectly from the experience. Meanwhile she's quite conflicted and ambivalent in her attitude toward Sophia.

On the one hand she wants nothing to do with a woman who abandoned her. On the other, it's possible that Sophia has tried all these years to find her daughter, but failed. Fairness demands that Sophia be given an opportunity to do so, or not, as she wishes. Which is why I agreed to do an interview with you for Il Golfo. It was the only way I could be sure that Sophia would learn that her daughter is alive.

When Maria asked me to see if I could get in touch with Sophia privately, I told her this might open her to further distress if, for example, Sophia decided to deny that she is the mother.

For a year I tried unsuccessfully to contact Sophia. Not even a friend of mine at CNN in Atlanta could get beyond Sophia's manager in Los Angeles.

Q: I have heard that a journalist has recently gotten in touch with Sophia about this story, and she has replied that she will not comment on it. What do you think that means? Obviously saying “no comment” is neither a denial nor a confirmation.

A: We can never know what is in the mind of another. A pessimist, or one who always takes a negative view of life, would suggest that Sophia is not commenting because she is trying to protect her reputation. She is, after all, the Italian national symbol of motherhood and family values.

An optimist, on the other hand, would say she is merely taking some time to collect her thoughts and work through some extremely conflicting emotions. It’s interesting to realize that as long as I’ve known Maria, she has always reacted to difficulty and hardship in one way. And that is to run away for several weeks, and be unreachable in her silence.

In my nearly four years on Ischia I have learned this is a typical Italian trait. But in my view, refusing to speak openly of painful things does not lead to healing. Rather it unnecessarily prolongs the suffering.

Maria, of course, is suffering, as she has for the year since she learned she was adopted. And I do not doubt Sophia is struggling with her own extremely painful feelings as well.

But nevertheless I’m an optimist. I believe that honest and open communication between two people, even about the most complex of difficulties, will lead to resolution. As I've said to you earlier, Q, I hope—pray—this story has a happy ending.


* * *


















JOHN, THE AMERICAN IN FORIO

SEVEN YEARS AGO HE CAME TO OUR GREEN ISLAND…. NOW HE CAN NOT LEAVE

In Forio the American is a familiar figure. A tall, slender man with long hair tied back in a pony tail, a gray goatee and moustache, and in his teeth an unlit Cuban cigar he acquired from De La Concha, a most famous tobacco store in New York. In the summer he takes his morning coffee at an outdoor table at La Piazzetta. During the winter he goes to Bar Roxy, and sits inside to escape the chill. He buys groceries at Di per Di near the cinema, and afterwards hoists the heavy plastic sack over his shoulders and hikes up the mountain to his apartment on the ground floor of Villa Giuseppe Regine, on Via Mortola. He is quiet, enigmatic. Since his arrival nearly seven years ago he has lived alone. For a while a young calico cat named Pushi kept him company, but the poor animal died suddenly a few months ago.

What brought the American to the island? What does he do?

Maestro Giuseppe Iacono first encountered John Palcewski in November, 1999, when he was co-owner of a computer store near Monterone. Maestro reports that John came in the door and asked him if he would find him an English-speaking attorney who would look over a lease for an apartment he was planning to rent. Of course he complied.

The strange and complex process that eventually brought John to Italy began in April, 1997, when he received an email from a girl named Maria, who told him she’d just read a story of his on an internet literary magazine, and she enjoyed it very much. His picture, she said, suggested he was a very intelligent man. She described herself as slim, blonde, green-eyed, and athletic. And quite drawn to intelligent men. And by the way, she said, she was from Ischia.

Ischia!

“By an extraordinary coincidence,” John says, “I was familiar with the island. I knew it was the location of the famous Nestor’s Cup, on which is scratched one of the earliest known examples of alphabetical language--a language specifically meant to preserve Homer’s great oral epics. For a romantic intellectual writer like me, Maria’s connection to this history was utterly compelling, even before we actually met. The more she wrote to me about growing up on that exotic island, the more I was drawn to her.”

As everyone knows, these Greek words are scratched on the artifact:

I am the goodly cup of Nestor. Whomsoever drinks of me, the desire of fair-crowned Aphrodite will immediately seize.

Scholars say the inscription might have been an experiment to see if writing could replace chanting. John says with a grin that there is absolutely no question this 800 BC love spell was a tremendous success. “I fell madly, deeply, and completely in love with Maria. I was, and will remain forever, in Aphrodite’s grip!”

Maria told John stories of her childhood in the village of Buonopane, and visiting her Nonna every summer on the nearby island of Ponza. She described her battles with her strict father, Giovanni. Her running away from home at five and hiding for three days in an empty barrel in the cantina of one of his vineyards. John found her tales fascinating, and he was elated when Maria suggested that he might write a book. Yes, of course. A book about her life.

In November, 1999, John knew he should visit the island to take detailed notes and lots of photographs. He thought three weeks would be enough time to get a good feel for the island he was going to write about. Maria helped him get a hotel reservation in Forio. He looked forward to a most intriguing adventure. But he was not prepared for what would happen to him when the ferry from Naples pulled into Forio Porto.

“When I saw the yellow dome of St. Gaetano, and the old lookout tower, and the colorful boats in the harbor,” he said, “I was overcome with a feeling that this place was entirely more special than I had imagined. It’s impossible to describe the deep emotions that literally overwhelmed me as I walked the streets of Forio. Everything about this place was both attractive and strangely familiar to me, and on that very first day I knew—beyond any doubt—that I had to live here. Permanently. I did not question my decision, and I didn’t need to analyze why. It was something I just had to do. And I did.”

After settling into his new home, John began writing a novel about the woman he loved.

In August, 2002, Maria—still in America—received the shocking news that she was not Giovanni and Restituta’s natural daughter, but rather had been adopted by them in 1964 in Naples. At first Giovanni refused to give her any details. “We raised you,” he said. “That’s all you need to know.”

But finally Giovanni revealed the name of Maria’s biological mother.

Sophia Loren!

Stunned, Maria called John long distance. She said she couldn’t believe the story. It was too bizarre, too improbable. It just couldn’t be true. Was there any for him to find out for sure? Surely he could do some checking. After all, he was a writer, a professional journalist. John immediately agreed, and set to work.

Where was the famous star in 1963 prior to Maria’s birth on January 14, 1964? He looked through one of her authorized biographies, “Sophia,” by Stefano Masi, which reported she was in Naples with Marcello Mastroianni making a movie that won an academy award in 1965 for Best Foreign Language Film. In it she played a pregnant woman.

According to Masi, “The Neapolitan episode [of Sophia’s 1963 film “Ieri, oggi, e domani”] was, in some way, prophetic: during the shooting Sophia realized that she was pregnant for real.” But Masi goes on to say that the actress “lost the baby in the fourth month of her pregnancy.”

At the time Sophia was married to producer Carlo Ponti. Would he have accepted the baby, had it been carried to full term? Probably not. Was abortion an option? Not in the 1960s in Italy. Adoption? Well, that would have been the only reasonable option. And the movie studio almost certainly had a great interest in keeping the whole thing secret. Sophia had a lucrative career ahead of her, and she simply could not afford a scandal.

There was more. Throughout her childhood Maria was always told how different she was from other members of her family. She looked like none of them. They were stocky, dark skinned, dark haired, dark eyed. Maria was slender, fair, blonde, and green-eyed. Most significant, she was the only person in the entire family named Maria. Neither Giovanni nor Restituta would ever explain why they did not name their daughter either after themselves or their parents. Maria is the name of Sophia’s sister.

And still more. “Between Strangers,” released in 2002, is Sophia’s 100th film. It was written and directed by Edoardo Ponti, her son. In it she plays an unhappily married woman who reveals a dark secret, for which she is very ashamed. And that is, many years ago she gave up a daughter for adoption.

In one scene, Sophia as Olivia says to Max: “You don’t know how I felt holding my daughter in my arms. If only I didn’t let her go that day.” She pauses. “My father didn’t take my daughter away from me, Max. I gave her up myself.”

“Olivia, you were only a child,” Max says.

“I could have held on tighter. You can’t imagine what a strong and beautiful woman she is now.”

“Where do you think she got it from? Hmmm? Where do you think she got it from?”


And finally, photos of Maria show an unmistakable resemblance to those taken of Sophia and Marcello in the 60s. Chiara Mastroianni, daughter of Marcello and Catherine Denueve, also resembles Maria.


John shared with Maria all the information he had found. He told her while this was a somewhat persuasive circumstantial case, it was not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The only way to resolve the issue, he said, was either DNA or a confirmation or denial from Sophia. Maria replied she would never submit a DNA sample. Why? “First that woman abandoned me,” she said. “Now I’m supposed to prove it!” Maria instead asked John if he could find a way of contacting Sophia privately, and put the question to her. He said he would try his best.

He wrote to literally hundreds of investigative reporters, journalists, editors and literary agents throughout the US and Europe. He outlined the story and asked them if they would help him get in touch with Sophia. The vast majority of these people did not reply. Those who did reply were highly skeptical and dismissive. They seemed to believe that Maria and John were greedy charlatans, hoping to make some money with a false maternity allegation.

In August, 2003, After nearly a year of failed attempts to contact Sophia privately, John gave an interview to a reporter from Il Golfo, hoping the story might spread over Europe and the US, and perhaps thus prompt Sophia to reply. The story did indeed go around the world. Most significantly, no journalist or investigative reporter ever uncovered any evidence to disprove the maternity allegation.

Despite that Sophia remains silent. She has not confirmed or denied she is Maria’s mother. A lawyer who manages Sophia’s marketing image initially told John he would ask Sophia to comment, but then he went silent. John’s subsequent letters and emails were unanswered.

In May, 2005, Maria finally agreed to submit a DNA sample to American Medical Services, a respected world-wide laboratory. John notified Giovanna Cau, Sophia’s attorney in Rome, that the sample had been submitted and hoped that Ms. Loren would be kind enough do the same. Ms. Cau wrote back saying that she no longer represents Sophia, and does not know who does. This was still another in a long series of dead ends, frustrations.

I asked John why Maria has not taken legal action to compel Sophia to address this issue. There is, after all, a sufficient amount of circumstantial evidence to support asking the question, and it’s a question that Maria has a legal and moral right to ask.

“There are two reasons,” John replied. “One is that Maria does not want anything from Sophia, other than the truth, one way or another. Another is that she does not have the financial resources to hire lawyers.”

In October, 2005, John completed the writing of DROWNING, a novel that describes in meticulous detail the entire story of his convoluted romance with Maria and the acute emotional tailspin she went into when she learned of the adoption. It’s a long and sometimes painful narrative. And in March, 2006, John completed MEMORIA NERA, a personal memoir. Both have been accepted for publication online at PulpBits.com. (Maestro is happy to say that he is in the process of translating both these books into Italian, and will submit them to publishers on John’s behalf when they are complete.)

This, then, is the narrative of a man came to Ischia to unearth the roots of his passion. It is also the story of a secret that will not or must not be revealed, which involves him, his Maria, and very important persons. Many of us know this secret, which after all only hides the drama of one who is also searching for a lost identity. It’s strange! But looking into John’s eyes I sense that he has found and embraced his identity here, in Forio, on the Isle of Ischia, and now he is determined help the woman he loves to do the same.

When you walk the narrow streets of Forio and you encounter John, the Americano, as we call him here, you’ll have more than one reason to greet him and smile, because he represents a life dedicated to the search for love, like that narrated in the epical books, or like that of many other foreigners, important or less, who walked through our streets and felt compelled to live in that they called “Earthly Paradise”.


Sophia Loren's Daughter?




John Palcewski, an American novelist living on the island of Ischia off the coast of southern Italy, recently got some surprising news regarding his girlfriend, Maria. The following is an English translation of an article that appeared in the August 20, 2003, issue of Corriere Della Sera, a major Italian newspaper:

The story of an american short-story writer triggers curiosity on the isle. And it's already a Maria-hunt.

"I AM A WRITER, SEEKING SOFIA LOREN'S DAUGHTER"
ISCHIA—"I am an american short-story writer and I'm following in the tracks of the illegitimate daughter of Sofia Loren." This piece of news, thrown in a banner headline, has obviously shaken the green isle. "Is Sofia Loren's illegitimate daughter at Ischia?": this was the question posed by Il Golfo, a newspaper directed by Domenico Di Meglio; in yesterday's edition it featured an interview with John Palcewski, american, photographer and eccentric writer of short stories, who speaks of a certain Maria, possibly the daughter of the famous Sofia. Palcewski has lived in Ischia since 1999, collecting material to make an 'imagenovel trilogy': the first two books have been already finished, and the third is close to completion. Palcewski's interviewer is Oscar Pantalone, a photographer, who in his foreword tells how he met Palcewski last June and how they instantly became good friends. In the interview, the american writer mentions that for a minor surgery, Maria needed blood from either one of her parents: "But when she asked her father, he refused," says Palcewski, "and he said also that her mother could not give blood either... He finally admitted that he was not her biological father and that her mother was a famous Italian movie star, who had conceived her while making a film entitled 'Ieri, oggi, e domani': Sofia Loren indeed". Palcewski tells his interviewer (who obviously asks what leads him to believe this is a true story) that he has investigated the whole matter for a long time and that he has put together a collection of clues which—to use a common phrase—amount to evidence. Truth or fiction? A good writer never tells. Meanwhile, this mysterious story has invaded the whole isle."

Corriere Della Sera was summarizing an interview that appeared the previous day in another Italian publication, Il Golfo. The following is an English translation of that interview:

Q. Tell me, John, what brought you to Forio?

A. I came to the island of Ischia in November, 1999, to gather material for an "imagenovel trilogy" I'm writing, based on the life of Maria, my girlfriend, who grew up in Buonopane. I believed that in order to fully understand her, I should spend some time studying the culture of the island that shaped her character.


Q. In an earlier conversation with me, John, you mentioned that in the course of writing this trilogy you came across some rather surprising information. Can you elaborate on this?

A. Yes. Originally Maria's story was that of a conventional love triangle. A married woman meets another man and falls in love, which sets up a struggle between husband, wife, and lover. But things took a wholly unexpected turn that made it a much more compelling story.

Q. So this story is basically a biography?

A. It is a true story cast in a fictional form, yes.

Q. Go on, please.

A. As I describe near the end of Book I, Maria learned that she needed to undergo an operation to remove a growth on her cervix. Her surgeon said it would be a good idea for her to obtain a supply of her rare blood type, as a precaution. The doctor suggested she ask her parents to give their blood. But when she asked her father, he refused. And he said also that her mother could not give blood either. This stunned Maria. She could not understand why her father would refuse such a request.

Q. What was the reason? Did he have medical problems?

A. No. He finally explained that he was not in fact Maria's biological father. Rather, she was adopted in Naples, shortly after her birth on January 14, 1964.
Q. So who was her biological mother?

A. That was the first question she asked her adoptive father. At first he was reluctant to answer because he had intended to keep it a secret forever. But he finally admitted that her mother was a famous Italian movie star, who had been making a film in Naples entitled "Ieri, oggi, e domani." Sophia Loren. Her co-star and lover was Marcello Mastroianni.

Q. That must have been quite a surprise.

A. Indeed it was. And it put Maria into considerable conflict. On the one hand, she was deeply hurt that she had been abandoned. On the other she was curious to know if Sophia had ever expressed any interest in learning what had happened to her daughter. But then Maria did not know if she could handle Sophia denying that she was her biological mother. A very complex situation.

Q. Did you have any doubts about the veracity of the story?

A. Of course. As a journalist I immediately began to investigate it. After several weeks of effort I came up with what American lawyers call a "compelling circumstantial case," which strongly suggests it's true. In any event, there is nothing that I uncovered that contradicts the story.

Q. What are some of the things that lead you to believe it is true?

A. Maria's birth date is one that coincides with Sophia being in Naples making a movie. Another fact concerns the name Maria. In Maria's family in Buonopane there are no women by that name. Sophia, on the other hand, has a sister named Maria.

Q. Please go on.

A. Sophia's latest TV movie, "Among Strangers," is one that she co-wrote with her director son, Edouardo. In it she plays the role of a woman with a dark secret—that many years ago she had given up a daughter for adoption.

Q. This suggests that in the role she drew from her own personal experience, doesn't it?

A. Yes. But to my mind the most persuasive thing that makes the case is that Maria does not look like anyone in her family. But she does have a strong resemblance to both Sophia and Marcello.

Q. Have you taken photographs of Maria?

A. Yes, and I've put them on a website. Now, as I said before, all this does not add up to absolute proof. But it strongly backs up Maria's father's assertion.

Q. What does Maria plan to do next?

A. Maria remains very conflicted. She realizes that it would be extremely difficult to confront Sophia directly on such a delicate matter. But then she feels that if Sophia has never been able to find her, she ought to be given the opportunity. Perhaps Sophia might read this interview and then decide to make contact. Or not. It's entirely her choice.

Q. Thank you, John, for sharing this fascinating story. I hope everything works out well for Maria.

A. You're welcome, Oscar. I, too, hope this tale has a happy ending.


aretakis@nycap.rr.com
Contact List
Mark A. Roesler

Manager and marketer of Sophia’s image, and operator of her official website.

CMG Worldwide, Inc..

Address:
10600 Crosspoint Commons
Indianapolis, IN 46250
Phone: (317) 570-5000
(317) 570-5020
Fax: (317) 633-2047
(317) 570-5500
E-mail: Contact Us

Los Angeles Office:
8560 Sunset Boulevard
10th Floor Penthouse
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: 310 854 1005

* * *


Giovanna Cau

Long-time Rome attorney who may or may not currently represent Sophia Loren. Marcello Mastroianni was her client for 40 years.

g.cau@dsincomune.it

studiocau@libero.it


Via M. Adelaide, 8
00196 Roma, Italia

Telephone: 06 3610 978

* * *


Leonard Hirshan

Sophia Loren’s Manager, Los Angeles
Mobile: 310-550-4501

* * *


Jacqueline “Nina” Luedicke

Writes for the weekly magazines "Die Zwei" and "Die Aktuelle", both tabloids. The publisher is called "Gong" in Munich. She proposed getting a hair sample from Sophia’s hairdresser to compare with Maria’s, but her editors told her to back off because they feared lawsuits.

gong-redaktion.roma@libero.it

Mobile: 333 568 2599
Home: 0774 66884

* * *

Elena DiMeglio

Knows Ischian old-timer named Anielo Schiano who claims that it’s “common knowledge” on the island that Sophia gave up a daughter named Maria for adoption 40 years ago.

edp1@interfree.it

Home: 081 997 390
Mobile: 347 0564 203


Anielo Schiano

Schiano reportedly met Sophia when she was trying to get a cure for her inability to get pregnant by Carlo. Elena says the locals believe it was through Anielo and his spa treatments that Sophia finally became fertile. Anielo used to take his small boat out to her yacht and bring her to the spa, which faces the beach east of Casamicciola. This may be the name and address of the spa:


Parco Termale Castiglione
I-80074 Casamicciola Terme
via Castiglione, 62
Tel. 081 982551pbx 5 linee
Fax 081 982747
e-mail: info@termecastiglione.it


* * *



Background Information Websites


Chronology of Maria/John Relationship
http://www.palcewski.com/Chron

A Circumstantial Case Supporting Maternity Allegation
http://www.palcewski.com/cc

Maria’s Pictures
http://www.palcewski.com/M

American Medical Services Corporation:
http://www.paternitytesters.com/index.html

DNA Lab’s Letter to Giovanna Cau:
http://www.palcewski.com/dna/ltr.jpg

Screenshot of DHL Tracking of Cau’s Letter:
http://www.palcewski.com/dna/dhl.jpg

John Palcewski’s Email to Giovanna Cau:
http://www.palcewski.com/bb/jptocau.jpg

Giovanna Cau’s Response:
http://www.palcewski.com/bb/caulj.jpg

Media Coverage of Sophia Loren/Maria story:
http://www.palcewski.com/SL

Transcripts of International News Coverage:
http://www.palcewski.com/tpc

Excerpt from Sophia Loren’s Authorized Biography:
http://www.palcewski.com/SLB

John Palcewski’s Bio
http://www.palcewski.com/JP

John Palcewski’s Weblog:
http://forioscribe.livejournal.com
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