Luciano Pavarotti’s death appears to have left a perfectly operatic scene of an irate widow and accusations of false friends bent on her destruction. Pavarotti’s widow, Nicoletta Mantovanis, is suing two friends of the singer for defamation based on their claims about the state of her marriage with the star. At the same time, Mantovani is fighting his grown daughters from an earlier marriage over his estate.The two defendants named in the Italian lawsuit iFranca Corfini Strata, wife of the singer’s dietician, and Lidia La Marca, wife of conductor Leone Magiera, who often performed with Pavarotti. Theyt are being sued for $22 million each.
In a newspaper interview following Pavarotti’s death, La Marca was quoted as saying the tenor had complained that Mantovani was isolating him and was only thinking about money. “Over the last years, Nicoletta has been tormenting me; she makes me live alone,’ ” La Marca quoted Pavarotti as saying from his hospital bed on August 16, La Stampa said. “‘She’s constantly thinking about money, she comes over with documents I’m supposed to sign, she threatens not to let me see Alice anymore,’ ” she quoted Pavarotti as saying. Both women named in the lawsuit appeared on a popular show on public RAI television, Porta a Porta, and confirmed their accusations about Mantovani.
In the United States, this would be a difficult case to bring. First, there is the absence of witnesses to some of the statements beyond the deceased and the defendant. Second, it is a per se category of defamation to claim that someone is controlling or obsessed with money. Third, it is not clear what the damages would be if they are not assumed.For the full story, click here