Raffaello Follieri just made some bombshell claims about his ex-girlfriend, Anne Hathaway. The Italian businessman, who started dating the actress in 2004, said in an interview that Anne never spoke to him again after he was arrested for fraud in 2008, and said he was heartbroken over it. So who is the guy who let Anne Hathaway get away?
Who Is Raffaello Follieri
Raffaello Follieri is an Italian businessman and real estate developer who conned President Bill Clinton and other high-profile investors. Raffaello ran the Vati-Con Scandal, in which he misappropriated over $50 million in investments from the likes of Bill Clinton and Ronald Burkle, a multi-billionaire.
More than his multi-million-dollar scheme and his subsequent time in jail, Raffaello is a successful businessman known for his four-year relationship with the talented Anne Hathaway. The 43-year-old conman and Ocean’s Eight actress were together for quite a while until Raffaello’s arrest. According to the Italian businessman, he has not talked to Anne since their 2008 split, though he recalls fond memories from their relationship.
Anne Hathaway and Raffaello Follieri: A Timeline
Anne and Raffaello met through a mutual friend in 2004, sparking a four-year relationship that has “a lot of happy, happy times,” according to the businessman. “I was 25 years old when we met,” Raffaello admitted in a recent interview. “I thought nothing was the limit for me.” He went on the explain that at a dinner party with his friends, one of his Swedish friends asked if he could invite “this girlfriend of mine.” The party agreed and Anne, famous at the time for The Princess Diaries, arrived.
The two hit it off, and though Raffaello was an hour late for his first date with the then 21-year-old actress, things got serious fast. It was “totally love at first sight,” Anne Hathaway told InStyle. “He is sooo good-looking. He looks like a god.”
While Anne’s career began to take off, Raffaello Follieri was treating her to lavish trips around the world. Private planes, yachts, New Year’s Eve celebrations at fancy estates were par for the course. It was “fiery,” according to Raffaello, who said passionate flare-ups, make-ups, and plenty of presents became a pattern for the pair. Then, despite a more than four-year relationship, the couple parted ways rather suddenly.
Why Raffaello Follieri Was Arrested
Raffaello Follieri’s time at the top didn’t last forever. In 2008, the conman was arrested for fraud, after misappropriating investments from high-profile investors such as Bill Clinton and Ronald Burkle. The investments were supposed to go toward buying Roman Catholic churches and monasteries in the United States. But instead over $50 million was misused. Raffaello claimed he had a special relationship with the Vatican and the Pope, and that he was given special permission to develop churches in the United States.
For his wrongdoings, Raffaello Follieri spent five years in prison and was permanently banned from the United States. Raffaello’s arrest on June 24, 2008 was also the last he ever heard from Anne Hathaway.
Why Did Raffaello and Anne Split?
According to the Italian businessman, love wasn’t enough to hold Anne and him together after his arrest and subsequent sentencing. “That night Annie phoned me from Los Angeles where she was doing press for the movie Get Smart,” Raffaello explained during his recent interview. “We were on the phone for ten minutes talking about when she might come home. If I remember, Annie’s last words were ‘I love you forever’ and we ended the call. That was 2 a.m. on June 24, 2008. At 6 a.m. I was arrested. I never spoke to Annie again.”
“You can look in my eyes,” he told the interviewer. “I don’t have anger but I’ve been hurt.”
A few months after the breakup, Anne Hathaway opened up about her tremendous loss. She told W magazine that Raffaello’s arrest was like having “the rug… pulled out from under me all of a sudden.” She explained that “I’ve been shown such kindness. Not everyone gets that. A lot of people go through tough times alone.”
Anne revealed that for a week after his arrest she stayed at a friend’s house “in shock.” She has never spoken to Raffaello Follieri again, though now the Italian businessman is more successful than ever.
Where Is He Now?
For some, an arrest could spell the end of a career – but not for Raffaello Follieri. He used his fresh start to find a new life partner and launch a business venture, Follieri Energy.
Raffaello is now married to his beautiful wife, Konstantina, and the two share their 4-year-old son, Pasquale. The couple also has a girl on the way, though her name or due date has not been revealed. His new business venture, Follieri Energy, has amassed over $175 million in assets, including 162 petrol stations.
The Italian business and ex-convict claimed that “rebuilding wasn’t easy,” but admitted that he “stayed in contact with people I’d known in the States. We had a meeting in London where we discussed business. I was introduced to contacts in Saudi Arabia. They knew what had happened and trusted me.”
Now Raffaello is looking to expand. He’s eying a $236 million investment in the United Kingdom to develop a chain of green petrol stations. He was called a “true visionary” by Tony Podesta, the brother of Bill Clinton’s former Chief of Staff, John Podesta. The sky may be the limit for Raffaello. But he’ll have to fly there without Anne Hathaway.