Prosecutor Drops Investigation Into Adult Star’s Death

Kat Khan
ROME — Rumors and suspicions have flown for the past 11 years over whether a former Italian adult actress faked her death in 1994, but a Rome prosecutor Friday said the investigation is a nonstarter and recommended the case be shelved.

The request comes after Prosecutor Attilio Pisani opened an investigation into the death of Moana Pozzi, a still-famous Italian adult actress, who reportedly died of liver cancer at a French clinic in September 1994. Pozzi was 33 years old.

Consumer rights' group Coisuc pressed for the case to be reopened, believing that Italy's best-known adult star could still be alive, having faked her death to escape her past and begin a new life.

Pisani conceded at the start of the investigation that the official versions of Pozzi's death contained "flaws and inconsistencies." But Friday he said his investigations had turned up no facts or circumstances over which charges could be drawn and asked that the case be closed.

Last year, prosecutors shelved another inquiry into the blonde actress's death requested by publisher Brunetto Fantauzzi, who wrote a book about Pozzi titled “Moana: A Political Mystery” and holds the rights to some of her autobiographical writings.

Fantauzzi believes the cancer story is a hoax and has speculated that Pozzi might have wanted to conceal her connections to one or several top politicians.

"In my book, I don't say that Moana is alive but I ask for proof of how she died. There is no definite proof of her death," Fantauzzi said.

Pozzi’s death followed a major upheaval on the Italian political scene, when vast corruption scandals brought down the once dominant Christian Democrat and Socialist parties. In her own memoirs, published in 1991 under the title “The Philosophy of Moana,” Pozzi referred to numerous liaisons with well-known people but did not give names.

Suspicions continued to brew after her death, as reports surfaced that Pozzi still could be seen in fine form jogging daily in one of Rome's central parks as late as July 1994.

Her death’s suddenness and secrecy fuelled rumors that it had been faked. Her family's accounts of her death did little to help and news of her illness was kept secret until after her death, which was not immediately announced to the press.

Immediately following Pozzi's death, her family said the actress passed away at a Lyon, France, hospital and that her body was cremated and the ashes scattered on the Matterhorn in the Alps, in accordance with her final wishes. Yet the Lyon clinic where she is alleged to have died is reported not to have cremation facilities and her cremation was never registered with Italian authorities.

Her family reportedly changed their story and said the ashes were buried in an unmarked grave in a Lerma, Italy, cemetery, though her name is said to be unrecorded in the cemetery's burial records. Italian authorities say also it took seven months before they received Pozzi’s death certificate.

But Eva Henger, a popular ex-porn star and former friend of Pozzi, previously said she is convinced the actress died of cancer. Henger also was married for several years to Riccardo Schicchi, Pozzi's adult industry manager.

"I saw the various stages of her illness. She was very weak and sometimes couldn't even get out of bed," Henger said. "She even phoned Riccardo from the clinic in Lyon to say she was doing well, that she had put on five kilos and wanted to get back to work immediately. Three days later, they informed us she was dead."

Pozzi began her career as an aspiring starlet in 1981 directly after leaving school. She was given a variety of small parts, eventually receiving the opportunity to work under director Federico Fellini, playing the part of a curvaceous model in the movie “Ginger and Fred.”

The actress didn’t become a household name until 1987, when she was befriended by Schicchi and Hungarian-born star Ilona Staller, better known by her stage name Cicciolina, who became an international celebrity that year when she won a parliamentary seat with the Italian Radical Party.

Pozzi later joined Staller in founding the Love Party, campaigning to legalize brothels, introduce better sex education and create “love parks.” Pozzi unsuccessfully ran for a seat during the 1992 Italian national elections and again in Rome’s 1993 local elections.

Although she never won, Pozzi’s electoral stripteases on her first campaign trail and her more sober rallies the second time around gained her thousands of fans. She also was a popular TV talk show guest and hosted several variety shows until the time of her death.