Brian Brennan: a Brief Encounter with Sophia Loren


Brian Brennan interviewing Sophia Loren in 1987.
Brian Brennan interviewing Sophia Loren in 1987.

Arts columnist Brian Brennan was told he couldn’t ask Sophia Loren about the sentence she served in a Naples prison for tax evasion. But he went ahead and asked anyhow, and received a surprising answer. An excerpt of Brennan’s Brief Encounters column, Absolutely Fabulous: Sophia Loren:


Sophia Loren hardly ever talked to reporters, and hadn’t planned to do so when she came to Canada in 1987 to promote some beauty products. But after I talked to her publicity people, I was told I could interview her as long as I didn’t ask her about two things:

1. How was she getting along with Carlo Ponti, her much older (by 24 years) director husband? There were repeated rumours of a rift and of extramarital affairs by both, but Miss Loren would not be speaking about such matters.

2. How did she end up spending 17 days in a Naples prison in 1982 for income tax evasion? Couldn’t she have paid a fine or come to some other kind of arrangement with the Italian judicial authorities, given that she was one of the country’s major film stars? Again, Miss Loren would not be speaking about such matters.

She would, however be happy to talk to me about the jasmine-and-roses Coty perfume to which she had lent her famous name in 1980… log in to read Absolutely Fabulous: Sophia Loren (subscription required*)

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