Calling in sick is a fairly common practice for many people. However, most people are not famous actors who are contracted to do a recital in in Pordenone, in the northern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. More importantly, most people are not then all over the news seating with Russian President Vladimir Putin and having the time of their lives. One can certainly understand a contractual case against Ornella Muti, but Italy often tries contracts and torts as criminal matters. Muti was found guilty of criminal fraud and given a suspended prison sentence pending payment of damages.
Muti has starred in such films as Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love and was scheduled to appear in the Verdi Theatre. However, she called in sick with a fever and chronic laryngitis.
The sponsors however were surprised to see her laughing and chatting at dinner with Putin at a children’s charity ball. She was charged with attempted fraud and ordered to pay compensation of €30,000 to the Verdi theatre in Pordenone as well as a fine of €500 (£445) by Italy’s Supreme Court.
She could face six months in jail because she has run into hard times. In 2015, she was evicted from her apartment in Rome for her failure to pay €80,000 in her rent. She also previously told the court that she could not pay €30,000.
I fail to see why Italy tries these contractual violations as criminal matters. As we previously discussed, they also criminalize tort claims like defamation.
Muti was a dishonest dummy in first faking sickness and then sitting next to Putin in a high visibility crime. Yet, that does not strike me as criminal but rather a contractual violation.
What do you think?