If existential pain is supposed to compromise a person’s effervescence, Dalila Di Lazzaro, the Italian model, actress and author, did not get the memo.
Cycling in Paris, 1975 (Photo by Laurent MAOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Some, though not all, readers will be aware of a choice piece of British folklore — an eternally entertaining dinner party gem — concerning a monkey that during the Napoleonic wars was tried and hanged in the town of Hartlepool in north-east England. The simian in question was the only survivor of a shipwreck, and, having been dressed in a French military uniform for the crew’s amusement, was presumed — by folk who’d never set eyes on either a monkey or a Gallic person — to be a spy from across la Manche.

I mention this because it’s the only equivalent I can think of — in terms of a person setting eyes upon another carbon-based life form and jumping so wildly to the wrong conclusion — to the moment the Italian model, actress and author Dalila Di Lazzaro made her acquaintance with Gianni Agnelli and concluded that he wasn’t attracted to women.


    March 2022

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