Sophia Loren Shares Her Wedding Regret After Meeting Her Husband at 16

People
9 months ago

Sophia Loren’s love story with her late husband Carlo Ponti was undeniably dramatic. It began when she was a teenager, involved charges of bigamy, and featured two weddings. However, even after all the drama had subsided, there’s one significant regret she still carries from her wedding day.

They met when she was 16.

Album Online/East News

The Hollywood star, then known as Sophia Lazzaro, was just 16 years old when she met her husband Carlo Ponti, who was 20 years her senior, in 1950. In the book, The Northeastern Dictionary of Women’s Biography, Sophia Loren recounts how she met Carlo Ponti and writes that it was love at first sight.

“It was love at first sight for both of us. We met at a beauty contest in Rome when I was 16, and he was on the jury. He saw me sitting at a table with friends and sent me a note asking me to join the contest.”

She went on to explain, “I did, and I finished second, but the most important thing was that this is how we started to see each other, at first in a friendly way, then it became serious when I was 19... We genuinely loved each other.”

It’s said that they may have kept their engagement a secret for years.

Despite their age gap and his marriage to Giuliana Fiastri, Carlo Ponti and Sophia Loren fell in love while filming the 1954 film Woman of the River.

Loren wrote in her memoir, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life, “There was something fatherly about his presence, too, and I’d never had a real father.”

Carlo reportedly proposed to Sophia Loren in secret around the time movie filming finished, but they kept their engagement hidden for several years until he was granted a divorce. This was a difficult task due to Italy’s strict laws at the time.

But something unexpected happened.

While filming The Pride and the Passion, Sophia Loren grew close to her co-star Cary Grant. He was 52 years old and already in his third marriage when he fell for Loren who was 22 at the time.

She told the Sydney Morning Herald, Cary was in love with me and wanted me to marry him, but that would have meant leaving Carlo and creating a huge scandal. I was terribly afraid of what the reaction would have been if I had left Italy.”

She said " I do" to Carlo Ponti but they faced legal troubles.

Despite Grant’s proposal, Loren chose to stay with Carlo. They were married by proxy in 1957 after obtaining annulment documents in Mexico. However, their first marriage lasted only five years, as they were forced to get an annulment due to bigamy charges.

AF Archive/Mary Evans Picture Library/East News

Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti were facing charges of bigamy in Italy, as their marriage was not recognized by the Italian government because Ponti was still married to his first wife. The couple did not plan to attend their trial, as they had not attended their wedding either.

The couple’s legal troubles made them uncomfortable responding to questions about their marital status. Loren said that it upset them both to have to talk about it. “My husband, that is, my former husband, I mean my fiancé ... well, you know Carlos — and I don’t want to discuss this matter because it only upsets us.”

Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti had a second marriage, but not a fairy tale ending.

After taking refuge in France, Carlo Ponti obtained a divorce and the couple married again in 1965. However, it was not the fairy tale ending that some might expect.

Sophia Loren admitted to the Radio Times that she has regrets about her wedding, saying, “It’s very hard to say you have no regrets.”

She shared her only wedding regret.

Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection/East News

Despite all the drama in her life, Sophia Loren still regrets not having a white wedding dress. “The only thing I regret a little is that I never got married in a white dress. That was the dream of my life, which is still inside me, she candidly shared.

As we conclude Sophia Loren’s candid revelations about her wedding regrets, we’re reminded that love stories can take unexpected turns. In our upcoming article, we’ll explore the captivating story of Priscilla Presley and Elvis Presley, and how “respect” was the foundation of their extraordinary love story.

Preview photo credit Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection/East News, The Black Orchid/Paramount Pictures

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