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Tacopina Folliere Vanity Fair

Tacopina Folliere Vanity Fair

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Published by: truthrat on Jun 11, 2011
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06/11/2011

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Preview the current issue of Vanity Fair 
 
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FALL FROM GRACE
 
 
Raffaello Follieri and Anne Hathaway at the Luca Luca fashion show on September 12, 2004.
By BrianPrahl/Splashnews.com.
 
The Follieri Charade
Raffaello Follieri had the love of Hollywood princess AnneHathaway, the illusion of a Vatican imprimatur, an investmentpartnership with billionaire Ron Burkle, and entrée to BillClinton’s inner circle. It wasn’t enough for him. Now that the 30- year-old Italian entrepreneur has been jailed on fraud andmoney-laundering charges, the author separates the facts fromthe fantasy of Follieri and Hathaway’s high-flying life.
BY MICHAEL SHNAYERSONOCTOBER 2008
 A 
nne Hathaway had broken up with him—sort of—10 days before. Federal prosecutors werecircling, interviewing his associates. And now, on the cusp of 30, Raffaello Follieri was, in a sense, back where he’d started when he moved to Manhattan from Italy five years ago: sleeping on spare beds and scrambling for investors to make his business real.
 
It was a shocking comedown for the charismatic entrepreneur who’d whisked his actressgirlfriend around the world on chartered jets and yachts, who’d stayed in the Dorchester hotel inLondon, the Ritz in Paris, and the Excelsior in Rome when he wasn’t home in the Olympic Towerduplex overlooking Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. He’d socialized with some of the world’s mostpowerful people. Yet Follieri was unfazed. Ever confident—a confidence man, federal prosecutors would declare when he was dragged into court the next day—Follieri felt he had only twoproblems on the evening of June 23, 2008: his sinuses, and arranging his 30th-birthday party forthat coming Saturday night at the Villa Verde restaurant on Capri.The spare bed this time was in the hall of his parents’ Trump Tower apartment. Follieri loved theinstant status that Trump Tower conferred: he’d started out with a penthouse apartment there when he could ill afford it. When he bagged his first investors, he turned the apartment over to hisparents, who spoke almost no English. But now he was sharing it with them because the lease hadrun out on his Olympic Tower duplex and none of his past or prospective investors, or Hathaway, were inclined to pay the $37,000-a-month rent.On this night, because his sinuses were acting up, provoking a bad bloody nose, his mother had lethim take the bedroom while she slept on the spare bed. Follieri’s father, Pasquale, was back inItaly. By one report, it was he who had urged his son to parlay his Vatican contacts into a timely  business: helping the Catholic Church sell off properties in the U.S. to pay the devastatingsettlements from lawsuits in the wake of the pedophile-priest scandals. If those properties could be bought at a good insider’s price, and sold or developed for a profit, the sky was the limit.Pasquale is still listed on the Follieri Group’s Web site as its president, and his portly figure hadoften been seen at Catholic Church events, glad-handing bishops. For a while, at least, none of the bishops seemed to know that Pasquale, a lawyer and sometime journalist, had been convicted in2005 by an Italian court of embezzling $300,000 from a company whose assets he’d been askedto manage. (The ruling is reportedly on appeal.) Now with both the F.B.I. and the New York Stateattorney general’s office investigating the Follieris, Pasquale returned to Italy.Raffaello might have gone back to Europe, too, except that Hathaway had urged him to meet her a week or so before at New York’s Gramercy Park Hotel, in between her own far-flung trips topromote her new movie,
Get Smart.
The breakup, in Paris, had been inconclusive; both Follieriand Hathaway seemed to be having mixed feelings. Later, online gossip columns would publishspeculation that she had cooperated with federal agents, luring Follieri back to New York so hecould be arrested. Hathaway’s publicity agent, Stephen Huvane of PMK/HBH, responded to the

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