Cicciolina in 2009. Photo by Certo Xornal.
Having had my John Lennon bio published this week in Italy, and hopeful that Beaver Street
, which is about pornography and politics, will soon follow suit, I've been keeping an eye on any news of sex and politics to emerge from the declining Roman Empire. I found this:
Porn star Cicciolina (real name Ilona Staller), who made her hardcore debut in 1983 in a film titled Il telefono rosso
(The Red Telephone
), starred in 40 more XXX-rated movies, and was then elected to the Italian Parliament in 1987 and served one five-year term, has ignited a bitter uproar in her adopted country.
The Hungarian-born former MP, who was once married to artist Jeff Koons, and offered to have sex with Osama bin Laden if he’d renounce terrorism, will turn 60 in November and begin collecting a taxpayer-funded lifetime pension of more than $53,000 a year.
Though this is a standard pension for any one-term MP, ordinary Italians are furious, as they believe Cicciolina did nothing while in office except attempt to pass a dozen sex-related bills, such as one to set up “love parks and hotels.”
Parliament, meanwhile, recently passed an austerity package, and politicians—while they continue to collect an annual salary and expense package totaling more than $335,000—are now asking the rest of the country to make painful sacrifices to prevent a Greek-style financial crisis.
Cicciolina, however, feels she earned her pension and is as proud of her government work as she is of her sex work.