He would have preferred to remain silent. But the last two years have taught Ilary Blasi that things rarely go as planned. Life is more creative: it turns perspectives upside down, confounds predictions. And so, after telling the story of the end of her marriage to Francesco Totti in the Unica series, she has now also decided to write it down in a book – published by Mondadori and published on January 30th – with the title a sentence, which was often brought up after all the pieces of her story were put together: How stupid.
'I had chosen the path of silence, but over almost two years I read a lot about what was happening. The limit was exceeded and I felt the need to expose myself by sticking my face in it.
First the series, now the book. The first question is: why?
“I had chosen the path of silence, but in almost two years I read a lot about what happened. The line was crossed and I felt the need to expose myself by putting my face on it like I always did. I had to be the one to tell my story. Especially after serious allegations were made against me. I saw a lot of people on TV talking about me and my marriage as if they lived in my house… so much so that at a certain point I had doubts… I said to myself: It's not like that “How were they in the closet?”
Is there one thing that hurt you more than the others?
“Read that I knew everything. Even if we were an open couple… maybe it was an open couple, but only on one side: not my side.
Nevertheless, it was said that she also cheated on her husband.
“Yes, I had ten lovers, or I don't remember how many, I've lost count now.” But by this time, as you can see, the phantom couple that was open to him was no longer doing well. No, that's not true, just as it's not true that I was okay with the idea of being cheated on. As if I was lucky to be “the chosen one”: I was with the world-famous footballer and therefore had to close my eyes and be silent. Before and also after. I’m used to gossiping, but all this has undermined my integrity as a woman.”
The basic idea was: She doesn't say anything just because she doesn't like it.
“Instead I would like to say that I married Francesco, but we have separation of property. I didn't register anything and never wanted anything because I think that's right: marriage is not an inheritance. I was always independent and was criticized for it. I’m lucky and privileged, I have to admit that, but independence has allowed me to cope with everything better.”
“ROLEX? THEY ARE MINE, THEY ARE GIFTS FRANCESCO GAVE ME. I only took my things with me, so much so that the judge didn't give them back to him. He took them and put them in a box.
He says in the book that Totti suddenly fired your daughter Isabel's nanny during the separation.
“It wasn't nice at all. It was a reference for her. Even though my friends told me that a lot of people do it. Will be . I know I was able to hire you right back because I have a job.”
He writes that he later realized that there was a lot of mischief associated with the house they built together. Would he have wanted to be there?
“The house is his and will always be his.” I didn't go to my children straight away: for them this place is a reference point and I had no desire to move this part too.
As for the famous Rolexes?
“They were mine, they were gifts he gave me. I only took my things with me, so the judge didn't give them back to him. He took them and put them in a box, they’re separated like I asked, so that’s fine.”
“We were in love, we were in love. AND ALL MY DEAR PEOPLE HAVE SEEN THIS… THEY HAVE SEEN WHAT MY CHILDREN HAVE SEEN. NO ONE HAS EVER RELATED…”
It's not a good ending to a love story.
“No, but still there was a feeling that people expected me to remain silent. In other words, you finally got lucky: you had a good life for 20 years. Just as it seemed obvious to many that I agreed with his betrayal, not because I didn't know, but out of convenience. But then I asked myself: Why is everyone convinced of this? Was everything so clear from the outside? Was it all completely obvious?'
He repeats it for her, right?
“No, absolutely. I keep repeating that I had a wonderful, happy marriage with a husband who I officially had no fault with.
– Ilary Blasi photographed by Maki Galimberti
Was she in love?
“We were in love, that’s who we were. And all the people closest to me saw this: my childhood friends who hung out at home, my sisters, my parents. They saw what my children saw. Nobody ever suspected anything. Only my brother-in-law knew this latest story, but he hadn't told me anything in the hope that Francesco would come to his senses.
It did not happen. Exactly a year ago you stopped living under the same, albeit gigantic, roof.
“Yes, even though after our divorce was announced there was no longer any family like we were used to. From then on, other parts came in: people began to break free, perhaps those furthest away spoke to me. The rumors were bubbling… and then I thought to myself: How stupid. I did not understand anything.”
A very young one
with the band
in 1998 (photo
Do you think you know the person you lived with for twenty years? Half of his life?
Anus. It suddenly seems to you that this person is different than you have always seen them. You never know who you sleep with, you never know the people… It's no coincidence that they say that you have to get a divorce to really understand who you have next to you… This happens to many, eh, you know these stories You hear them and don't believe them? Well, it happened to me.
However, her ex-husband has certainly read some of her messages in which she hinted that she wants to meet someone else. Would things have been different if they hadn't been there?
“Ehhh, that's a sliding door: how do I know what would have happened?” Maybe I'll never understand if the thing was a pretext for Francesco. There were certainly a number of situations that led to this result quite quickly.”
– Ilary Blasi and Francesco Totti on their wedding day,
Have you tried couples therapy?
“It takes two to want it: no, we haven’t tried.”
Because of this book and series, there were some who accused her of trying to take advantage of the breakup.
“It was inevitable that they would say it. Maybe they are the same ones who previously invited me to expose myself, only it's not good to do it. But you can’t buy the book or watch the series.”
But everyone saw it. And it can be assumed that the book will also be a big seller. Was your reaction a planned reaction?
“No, my decision, which should have been our decision, was to remain silent. Then there was the famous interview in Corriere della Sera (by Aldo Cazzullo, ed.). And then all the different reconstructions that we talked about began, which made me appear from thief to liar and finally to exploiter. It’s not a question of planning, but of respect for myself.”
“I DIDN'T MAKE THIS SERIES OR THIS BOOK TO HURT HIM, BUT OUT OF RESPECT FOR ME, TO GIVE MY POINT.” “The intention wasn't to hurt him: I just told what happened” – Ilary Blasi with Luca and Paolo
Did you expect the Totti series and book to be published?
And he made a comment afterwards?
However, I want to tell you one thing: while reading the book, it seemed as if I felt a feeling of love. Is that so?
“But it’s there. In a different form. How can you cancel everything with one person after 20 years? It is clear that the affection remains: he will always be the father of my children and the man with whom I spent half my life.
So isn't this revenge in some way?
“No, I didn't do this series or this book to hurt him, but out of respect for myself, to express my point of view. My intention wasn't to hurt him: I just told him what happened.
The end of the book is an invitation to him: to make peace, to have dinner together again.
“Yes, because things can happen, but you have to face them.” We talk to each other, it was what I expected. If he had told me: I fell in love with someone else, none of this would have happened.
Why didn't he do it?
“Maybe he didn't have the courage, once again I don't have an answer.” Maybe he was trying to make things right, I don't know.
– Ilary with Alfonso Signorini on “Big Brother” (Photo Mondadori portfolio/Massimo Insabato archive)
What kind of communication do you have today?
“Nothing. I read that he wanted to find a balance with me, but words should also be followed by actions. Maybe it's a matter of time.
Is it really available?
“Absolutely, the door is always open.”
Wouldn't it impress you to have dinner with him again after everything that happened?
“But no, I would talk about this and that, maybe it would even be funny in the end, I don't know. You have to understand it that way… otherwise it becomes too serious for my taste. They also accused me of not suffering enough: Well, it wasn’t like that.”
How would you respond if she texted him that dinner invitation?
“I don’t know, anything would answer. We will always be connected in some way, we might as well just do it. I think I've taken the first step.
What was the most stressful part of this whole thing?
“Oh God, it was all tiring, a divorce is tiring.” I was very sorry, and when I think about it, I still feel nostalgic for giving up the concept of family that I grew up with and I couldn’t pass it on to my children.”
– Ilary Blasi photographed by Maki Galimberti
Under the guise of this separation, described as a sensational war, is there actually a desire for reconstruction?
“Yes I hope so. I have no experience with divorce, but I feel that anger and teasing is almost a must. Time heals disappointments and it is possible to find a new balance.
How do your children experience the new structure?
“You have a good relationship with both of them. I didn't do anything to increase the tension between them and their father. It is true that they visit him often.
In the book he also talks about their first vacation with his father and his new partner Noemi Bocchi. There are many parents who make their children feel guilty about spending time with their exes' new friends. How did she do that?
“But what is their fault? It's something we created. They are absolutely not to blame, my goodness, not at all, at least they haven't experienced this burden. Of course it wasn't easy at the beginning and I made certain decisions instinctively. In that regard, both of our interests were to protect their children as much as possible – that makes me laugh. What happened is not their fault and it shouldn't be their fault; on the contrary, they must continue to maintain relationships with both. That's right.”
Why did he say: It makes me laugh?
“Oh no, because we started here with that intention, and later… how should I put it… well…”.
Did they have to digest something too?
“Well, the adults obviously notice what’s happening.”
It was little Isabel, she said, who put a flea in her ear by telling her that she would play with those who, she later found out, were Bocchi's children. Yet he did nothing to end this relationship. It's not for everyone.
“Instinctively, the first thing you want to say is: Oh yeah? You did this to me, so now I'm creating a wall. But the hunt for children is wrong: they are in the middle of it all and it is as if everyone is dragging them into their part. When you stay clear, you understand that there is no reason to pull them to your side because they belong right there, in the middle. So this little game is stupid: it's not good for me, it's not good for the other side, but most of all it's not good for the children. One must try not to fall into this trap because it is useless. It’s not easy, but I invite everyone to do it, it’s not worth it.”
Totti has been quite unabashed in tackling the beginnings of his new story.
“But actually the thought was: imagine him taking his lover to the stadium, imagine him taking our daughter to his children. Instead, he was brazen in his betrayal. From then on everyone thought I knew why I didn't actually understand it? How stupid! The answer is that I believed him. I believed my husband. Many women have written to me who recognized themselves in what happened to me.
In the book he also writes about how Totti is photographed having dinner with Bocchi in the restaurant where he proposed to her.
“You see these things and another little piece breaks down inside of you, but it also allowed me to rebuild myself.”
And all this after months of limbo in which he didn't understand what was wrong between you. How do you remember her?
“It was like an anesthesia: everything was flat, there were no emotions. You don't know what you're experiencing and you don't know where it will take you. Actually, it was a kind of conscious anesthesia. But they served precisely to say: enough is enough.”
Why did you decide to write that Totti was sexually searching for you during those months when he was apparently already having another affair?
“Because it is not an element to be underestimated. When you talk to couples in crisis, the first thing they stop doing is sex. It didn't happen to us and that's why I was confused. Of course the meetings were rather sporadic, but it is also true that at that time I was working on the Isle of the Famous, so I was in Milan two evenings a week… so it was an element that gave me peace “.
Do you have any regrets?
“No, I think I've done everything I can to understand that I have these twenty years to thank for whether leaving was really inevitable. And that's why I'm calm today, I don't have any unfinished business with what happened. I have no remorse or regret.
What if he had confessed his betrayal and asked her for forgiveness?
“Ehhh – a long sigh. Then a smile -. I know myself and I think he knew me in that sense too. No, I couldn't have progressed.
Many are pushing for you to get back together.
“Yes, I know, but no, I don't think it's possible.”
He said I think?
“I don't think so, because I believe that when something breaks, it's not the same as before.” We're in a different phase, this stuff never comes back. A relationship can return, a different kind of relationship. But not what it was. Today I am calm, light. I don't want to say that I didn't do anything wrong, but I'm at peace with myself: I think it's also important that things move on quickly. I tried to do everything that needed to be done.
What name do you have saved your number on your cell phone today?
Could he marry again in the future?
“I have no prejudices against marriage. One would say: But how, even after this experience? But what can I say, I still believe it, so why build walls? Life is so strange… Being married was absolutely not a traumatic experience for me… and then they say that the second is nicer, so…».
In the book he doesn't mention his new partner. Why?
“This story concerns my past, he has nothing to do with it: it is a new chapter in my life and I have no desire to build a bridge to what happened.”
Not an easy question: What do you think of your ex-husband's new partner?
A really sweet smile appears on Blasi's beautiful face. “I hope they are happy. Really. At least it will have been worth it.
DEBUT – Ilary Blasi was born on April 28, 1981 in Rome. She appeared on television for the first time when she was just three years old, in a Cuore oil commercial with Mariangela Melato. He then continued to dedicate himself to the world of advertising, participating in various campaigns, from Panettone to Fiat. He made his film debut two years later with a small role in Franco Amurri's film Da grande. Blasi took part in the Miss Italia pageant in 1998.
IN TIVÃ™ – The turning point came in 2001 when she made her debut as a valet on Passaparola with Gerry Scotti. The role of letter girl was followed by moderation of programs such as “Le Iene” and various collaborations (Che tempo che fa with Fabio Fazio, Sanremo Festival with Giorgio Panariello in 2006 and Festivalbar the following year). Then came Big Brother VIP and Island of the Famous.
PRIVATE LIFE – On June 19, 2005, she married the former football player Francesco Totti: the two have three children, Cristian, Chanel and Isabel. The separation was announced on July 11, 2022.