Gisela Getty broke her silence for the first time about her late husband John Paul Getty III, claiming that her own kidnapping played a key role in holding the Roman mob hostage in 1973.
The 69-year-old German-born filmmaker said she was held captive along with her twin sister Jutta Winkelmann by the mob boss, Ciambellone, after John Paul, 16, tried unsuccessfully to make his own capture.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, before the release of the BBC drama Confidence based on the scandal, Gisela said she was held captive for two days by members of the mob who threatened to rape and kill her.
Just weeks after she and her sister escaped the ordeal, the teenage girl she later married would take herself and disappear for five months.
He returned without an ear after his family initially refused to pay the ransom of $ 17 million (£ 13 million) demanded by his mafia captors.
The wife of John Paul Getty III, Gisela Getty, portrayed with him and their children in 1975, spoke for the first time about his life with the infamous victim of kidnapping and what really happened in the scandal.
Gisela, pictured left in 2003, broke her silence about the Getty family and how Paul Getty's kidnapping affected the rest of her life. John Paul Getty III was kidnapped in 1973 and held captive for five months, tortured for having his ear removed (right, in 2003)
Gisela believes that Paul had been involved in drug trafficking with the Mafia, along with his close friend Marcello Crisi, which meant he could not get out of the kidnapping plan.
"I think Paul abandoned the idea, but he was already so involved that he could not leave," he said.
"They probably told Paul:" You can not leave the mafia, you have to keep your word. "I think it was taken against their will, against their wishes.
Gisela and the twin Jutta ran in the same circles as Paul after he moved to Rome to pursue a film career with his sister.
Their lives became entangled when they moved to Paul's house in Italy, where he stayed after being expelled from school, and began to discuss ways in which they could make a "better world".
Jean Paul Getty III with his wife Gisela (born Gisela Zacher) and their two children, Balthazar Getty when he was a baby and Anna Getty, his daughter from a previous marriage
They wanted to use the Getty family in billions to establish a paradise of groups of experts using the pleasure palace of their father John Paul Getty II in Morocco as their base, "putting the LSD in the water supply" and "boosting the change forward. "
To build her new world, Gisela, who is the mother of actor Balthazar Getty and her daughter Anna from a previous marriage, explained to Sunday's supplement that Paul's idea was to fake his kidnapping.
She admitted that they were very naive and told The Times: "We wanted to do something better with money than them, make a better world, but it got us into very deep waters.
However, when the mafia got involved, it was Gisela and her sister whose lives were threatened.
The mob boss Ciambellone had told them he wanted to invest in a movie they were doing, but he lured them into a trap.
After two days, Paul tried to rescue them and finally managed to free themselves, leaving the paranoid teenager because they were following them.
Gisela believes that Paul could never overcome the trauma of the kidnapping and resorted to drugs and alcohol, a dangerous cocktail that he consumed in 1981 and that caused a massive stroke that left him quadriplegic and in a wheelchair. He later died in 2011 in Buckinghamshire
Sir John Paul Getty Jr. (right), who had been isolated from his family's fortune, asked his father for money. The boy's grandfather, J Paul Getty (right), was worth about $ 2 billion thanks to his oil fortune at the time, but he refused to pay any ransom.
Weeks later, Paul disappeared when members of the Italian Mafia grabbed him from the street on July 10, 1973, when he was returning home from a night of partying with friends.
He was thrown in the back of the truck and taken 300 miles south of the Calabria mountains, with his captors who soon informed the teenager's family that the child would be returned safe after paying a ransom of $ 17 million (£ 13 million).
The boy's mother, Gail Harris, and his father, J. Paul Getty Jr., had been separated from the family fortune, so they asked J. P Getty if he would be willing to cover the amount of money demanded by the kidnappers. .
At that time, J. Paul Getty was worth just under $ 2 billion (£ 1.5 million), making him not only the richest man in the world but also the richest man in history.
That was when the shocking incident took the strangest turn of all, with J Paul Getty refusing payment of the ransom money.
Paul and Gisela's marriage finally broke down, she believes that she was never able to overcome the trauma of the kidnapping and the consequences with her family. Gisela in the photo in 2003 at the wedding of her daughter Anna Getty
John Paul Getty III was raised in Rome, where his father, John Paul Getty Jnr, ran the family's oil business.
His parents separated when he was eight years old and his father moved to England, but John Paul remained in Rome with his mother.
Before disappearing, Juan Pablo had apparently joked about falsifying his own kidnapping when he needed money, so the members of his family initially took the ransom note as a scam sent by him.
It is said that he spent five months in captivity, mainly in a cave, and when his ear was cut, the wound became infected and contracted pneumonia when winter began.
It was found at a petrol station after the rescue – or $ 2.2 million (around £ 8.5 million in today's money) – was finally paid, and two members of a Mafia-based Calabria organization were subsequently imprisoned for the crime.
Paul and Gisela's marriage finally broke down, and she believes that she could never get past the trauma of the kidnapping and the consequences with her family.
Some years later, a cocktail of drugs and alcohol caused a stroke in 1981 that left him quadriplegic, partially blind and unable to speak. He died in 2011, in Buckinghamshire.