Claudia Cardinale and the hidden son of a rape: «I should have told Patrick earlier that it’s not mine

Claudia Cardinale and the hidden son of a rape: «I should have told Patrick earlier that it’s not mine

Claudia Cardinale will be 85 in April. She was born in Tunisia and lives in Paris, but she has always felt Italian, as she repeatedly points out in an interview with Corriere.

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The rape

At 16, she was raped by an elderly stranger who forcibly loaded her into his car. After this evil act, the actress gave birth to Patrick (in London to hide the scandal), her beloved son, who for years was forced to pose as her brother “for image reasons”.
Until the seventh month, she stayed on the set, hiding her pregnancy. “These were very difficult months. Far from my homeland. Confronting a culture and a language, Italian, that I didn’t understand well. Catapulted into the world of cinema, which was salvation and great unknown at the same time. Cristaldi understood I was pregnant when I asked to break the contract. My relationship with him grew stronger at that moment. I became transparent.”

The “Hidden” Son

Her son Patrick was introduced as her brother until she told the truth in an interview with Enzo Biagi: «It was necessary – she says – courage comes when it is necessary. It cannot be predicted. But if I could go back, I would tell my son the truth first. So I didn’t have that courage.”

The directors

The line of directors he has worked with is long. visconti? «A lesson not only in the cinema, but also in life. Then we were friends; and that’s priceless.” Fellini? “Fun. Stimulating. I felt free. At 8.5 he was the first to make me do my part…». Sergio Leone? “Entertaining, simple. Once upon a time in the West was a wonderful experience.

The actors

He played “a gentleman” with John Wayne. He gave me a chair with my name on it, which went with me on many films. It was such a sweet gesture towards me who was little more than a child when he was a giant!». Orson Wells? “Wow. On the set of Abel Gance… I was very small in the midst of gods”. And Sean Connery? “We had fun. It was very cold on the Red Tent set, but the atmosphere between us was very warm». Is it true that Mastroianni fell in love with her, but did she reject him? Because?
“He said that. I wonder if it’s true… We were friends, yes.”

The actresses

“It wasn’t the best experience with Monica Vitti. Vitti was fascinating. But she was less used to sharing the scene with another woman than I was. There was no animosity; but it wasn’t even the beginning of a real friendship.’ And Brigitte Bardot, is it true that you used to always fight? «The press wanted to make us enemies: BB against CC. But it wasn’t like that at all. In the meantime she was my absolute “idol”. She’s a few years older than me, so I used to see her in films when I was a girl, even before I did films. I was so honored to work with her. There was no fight between us. So much so that for the premiere of the film we dressed up as a couple, she as a man and I as a woman. We love each other very much. Brigitte is a great woman. We had lots of fun.”


On the set of Guappi he met Pasquale Squitieri, with whom he had a daughter Claudia: «He chose the name because he wanted to marry me and I didn’t want to. So Claudia Squitieri, our daughter, bears the name I would have had if I had said yes». Why didn’t she want to marry Squitieri?
“Because I wanted to be an independent woman. It will be an icon; but at the time I took care of it. I should have assumed…”

The daughter

“With my daughter? I have a very nice relationship. For several years, in addition to his personal work, he has been taking care of my housework. Together we decided to create a foundation that can be a generational bridge. She will direct. My struggles for women’s rights and for the defense of the environment will continue, two subjects that I have been following for some time with Unesco and with GreenCross».