A former Playboy model turned Italian princess faces imminent eviction from her $533m villa in Rome after she battled with her stepchildren and failed 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 holding 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 dad’s third and final wife – of taking their inheritance and letting the Villa Aurora, located off the swanky Via Veneto, go to shambles.
A court has since agreed that the Princess, her Ukrainian housekeeper and her Ukrainian housekeeper’s daughter and two grandchildren will be evicted by police as early as Thursday.
Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi (right) and Princess Rita are pictured together prior to his death in 2018. Texas-born Rita, a former Playboy model, now faces eviction from their lavish Roman villa as early as Thursday after a judge accused her of failing to maintain the property
This stunning property — a former hunting lodge on a hilltop site once occupied by Julius Caesar’s palace — has what estate agents might call bags of potential (pictured)
Tucked away in a small room on the second floor, Jupiter, Neptune And Pluto (pictured) is the only ceiling painting by Caravaggio
The spectacular estate that has been in the Luovisi family since the early 1600s features the only known ceiling fresco painted by famed Italian artist Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.
Attempts to sell the property for $533 million proved unsuccessful.
The price has since been lowered to $353 million, but there are no buyers, meaning it will be discounted even more in a bid to shift it.
Rita is pictured on the cover of Playboy in 1984, three years after she first appeared in the magazine back in 1981
On Wednesday night, the American princess waited in her home with her Ukrainian housekeeper Olga, her housekeeper’s daughter and grandchildren, who fled Kyiv last year after the Russian invasion, for the Carabinieri police to arrive.
In January, Rome Judge Miriam Iappelli instructed Carabinieri police at the Via Veneto station to evict her, accusing the princess of having failed, among other things, to maintain the home in a ‘good state of conservation’ after an exterior wall crumbled.
With the warning time now up, the decree calls for police to evict anyone still living there, take possession of the property, change the locks and ‘dispose of or destroy’ any furniture or documents left behind.
The children have argued that the home, built in 1570, belongs to them, that their grandfather intended for them to inherit it and that their late father abused them and mismanaged his fortune.
They have mounted a multi-pronged legal campaign to get control of the property so it can be sold.
The Casino Boncompagni Ludovisi also known as Casino dell’Aurora. Pictured is the ornate cieling showing the countries, with the side panels painted by Guercino, Paul Bril, Domenichino, Gian Battista Viola
Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi shows to journalists some of the paintings displayed inside the Casino dell’Aurora, also known as Villa Ludovisi, in Rome, on January 18, 2022
In the photo taken November 2021 the Princess Rita is pictured showing her home and the valuable paintings and artifacts to a group of journalists that 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.
The widow Boncompagni Ludovisi says she and her husband worked diligently to restore the villa as best they could, adding that she has tried to negotiate with her late husband’s children.
In a statement provided to The Associated Press on Wednesday, she called her imminent eviction ‘unexpected and unjust.’
‘What a brutal ending to my beautiful life with my beloved Nicolo,’ she wrote.
The eviction order marked the culmination of a bitter inheritance saga that simultaneously saw the villa put on the court-ordered auction block last year and assigned a court-appraised value of 471 million euros ($533 million).
After the minimum bid of 353 million euros ($400 million) failed to get any takers in the first auction, the price was progressively lowered in a series of successive auctions, with more scheduled until a buyer is found.
The villa, also known as Villa Ludovisi, is famous for the Caravaggio that graces a tiny room off 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 being used as an alchemy workshop.
The 2.75-meter (9-foot) wide mural, which depicts Jupiter, Pluto and Neptune, is unusual: It´s not a fresco, but rather oil on plaster, and represents the only ceiling mural that Caravaggio is known to have painted.
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 photoshoot to accompany an article that she’d written, headlined The Liberation of a Congressional Wife. Another model is seen on the cover
Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi (center) decided to appear in Playboy magazine, posing in a feather boa in a photoshoot to accompany an article that she’d 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 pair divorced in 1981.
During that time, sometime in the 80s’, when she appeared on the cover of Playboy, a scandal played out when she told the magazine that she and Jenrette had sex on the Capital steps during a break in an all-night House session.
But, in 2017 during an interview on ‘CBS Sunday Morning,’ she claimed it was simply a ‘kiss,’ asserting that ‘we did not make love on the Capitol steps.’
‘We had just gotten married and they were in session, and he called me to have dinner with him in the Congressional dining room. And then we just went over behind the columns and he kissed me,’ she said.
‘And it was a passionate moment. But it was not — we did not make love on the Capitol steps. We did not!’