A former Playboy model turned Italian princess is about to be evicted from her $533 million villa in Rome after fighting with her stepchildren and failing to maintain the property.
The 73-year-old Texas native, born Rita Carpenter, became Italian royalty after marrying Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi, an Italian prince in 2009, with the title of Princess Rita Jenrette Boncompagni Ludovisi.
But after her husband’s death in 2018, Boncompagni Ludovisi’s children from his first marriage accused their stepmother – their father’s third and final wife – of taking their inheritance and destroying the Villa Aurora, located off the posh Via Veneto, in to run debris.
A court has now agreed that the princess has allowed an outer wall to crumble, whereby she, her Ukrainian housekeeper and the daughter of her Ukrainian housekeeper and two grandchildren will be evicted by the police on Thursday.
Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi (right) and Princess Rita pictured together prior to his death in 2018. Texas-born Rita, a former Playboy model, will now be evicted from their lavish Roman villa on Thursday after a judge accused her of maintained property
This stunning property – a former hilltop hunting lodge that once housed Julius Caesar’s palace – has what realtors might call a wealth of potential (pictured)
Tucked away in a small room on the second floor, Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto (pictured) is Caravaggio’s only ceiling painting
The spectacular estate that has been in the Luovisi family since the early 17th century features the only knun ceiling painting painted by the famous Italian artist Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.
Attempts to sell the property for $533 million proved unsuccessful.
The price has since been slashed to $353 million, but there are no buyers, meaning there will be even more discount in an effort to shift it.
Rita is pictured on the cover of Playboy in 1984, three years after she first appeared in the magazine in 1981
On Wednesday evening, the American princess waited in her house with her Ukrainian housekeeper Olga, the daughter of her housekeeper and grandchildren, who fled Kiev after the Russian invasion last year, for the arrival of the Carabinieri police.
In January, Rome judge Miriam Iappelli ordered the Carabinieri police at Via Veneto station to evict her, accusing the princess, among other things, of keeping the house in a “good state of repair” after an exterior wall had collapsed.
Now that the warning time has passed, the decree calls on the police to evict anyone still living there, take possession of the property, change the locks and “throw away or destroy” any furniture or documents left behind.
The children have argued that the house, built in 1570, is theirs, that their grandfather intended for them to inherit it, and that their late father abused them and mismanaged his fortune.
They have launched a multifaceted legal campaign to gain control of the property so that it can be sold.
The Casino Boncompagni Ludovisi also known as Casino dell’Aurora. Pictured is the ornate ceiling showing the countries, with the side panels painted by Guercino, Paul Bril, Domenichino, Gian Battista Viola
Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi shows journalists some of the paintings on display at the Casino dell’Aurora, also known as Villa Ludovisi, in Rome on January 18, 2022.
In the photo, taken in November 2021, Princess Rita is depicted showing her home and the valuable paintings and artifacts to a group of journalists who were invited to the estate
One of the children, Bante Boncompagni Ludovisi, took to Twitter on Wednesday to praise Iappelli’s eviction order and assert the children’s right to the villa and its contents.
Widow Boncompagni Ludovisi says she and her husband have worked diligently to restore the villa to the best of their ability, adding that she has tried to negotiate with her late husband’s children.
In a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday, she called her impending eviction “unexpected and unjust.”
“What a cruel end to my beautiful life with my beloved Nicolo,” she wrote.
The eviction order marked the culmination of a bitter legacy saga that saw the villa at the same time placed on the court-ordered auction block last year and assigned a court-estimated value of 471 million euros ($533 million).
After the minimum bid of 353 million euros ($400 million) failed to find buyers at the first auction, the price was gradually lowered in a series of subsequent auctions, with more planned until a buyer is found.
The villa, also known as Villa Ludovisi, is famous for the Caravaggio that decorates a small room next to a spiral staircase on the second floor.
It was commissioned in 1597 by a diplomat and patron of the arts, who asked the then young painter to decorate the ceiling of the small room used as an alchemy workshop.
The 2.75-meter-wide mural, depicting Jupiter, Pluto and Neptune, is unusual: it is not a fresco, but rather oil on plaster, and represents the only ceiling mural known to have been painted by Caravaggio.
Rita, pictured left at the Playboy Mansion on April 13, 1981 and right with Hugh Hefner, decided to appear in Playboy magazine, posing topless with a feather boa in a photo shoot accompanying an article she had written, headlined The Liberation of a Congresswoman. The cover shows a different model
Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi (center) decided to appear in Playboy magazine, posing in a feather boa in a photo shoot accompanying an article she had written, headlined The Liberation of a Congressional Wife
Ludovisi’s first husband was former United States Democratic Representative John Jenrette Jr., of South Carolina, whom she married in 1976. The couple divorced in 1981.
At the time, sometime in the 1980s, when she appeared on the cover of Playboy, a scandal unfolded when she told the magazine that she and Jenrette had sex on Capital’s steps during a break in a late-night House session .
But in 2017, during an interview on “CBS Sunday Morning,” she claimed it was just a “kiss,” claiming that “we didn’t make love on the steps of the Capitol.”
“We were just married and they were in session, and he called me to have dinner with him in the conference dining room. And then we just got behind the columns and he kissed me,” she said.
And it was a passionate moment. But it wasn’t – we didn’t make love on the steps of the Capitol. We didn’t!’