Ilona Staller

made in heaven

Ska Skatenati

Ilona Staller (b. 1951), also known by her stage name la Cicciolina, is a Hungarian-born Italian porn star, politician, and singer. She continued to make hardcore pornographic films while in office. She is famous for delivering political speeches with one breast exposed. In 1964 she began working for a Hungarian modeling agency; in her memoirs she claimed that she had provided Hungarian authorities with information on American diplomats staying at a Budapest luxury hotel where she worked as a maid in the late 1960s.

Staller married American sculptor Jeff Koons in 1991. Koons produced a series of sculptures and photographs of them having sex in many positions, settings and costumes, which were exhibited under the title ‘Made In Heaven.’ The marriage broke up in 1992, and their son Ludwig Maximillian was born shortly afterwards. Staller left the US with the child, and a lengthy custody battle ensued. Koons won custody in 1998 but Ludwig remains with Staller in Italy.

Naturalized by marriage and settled in Italy, she met pornographer Riccardo Schicchi in the early 1970s, and, beginning in 1973, achieved fame with a radio show called ‘Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?’ (French: ‘Do you want to sleep with me?’) on Radio Luna. For that program she adopted the name ‘la Cicciolina,’ which translates, loosely, as ‘Cuddles.’ She has referred to her male fanbase and later the Italian parliament as ‘cicciolini,’ translating loosely as ‘little tubby boys.’ She appeared in her first hardcore pornographic film, ‘Il telefono rosso’ (‘The Red Telephone’) in 1983. She produced the film together with Schicchi’s company Diva Futura.

Her memoirs were published in 1987. That same year she appeared in a pornographic film, ‘Carne bollente’ (called ‘The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empress’ in the US), co-starring John Holmes. The film would later create a furor when it was revealed that Holmes had tested positive for HIV prior to appearing in it.

In 1979, Staller was presented as a candidate to the Italian Parliament from the ‘Lista del Sole,’ Italy’s first Green party. In 1985, she switched to the Partito Radicale, campaigning on a libertarian platform against nuclear energy and NATO membership, and for human rights. She was elected to the Italian parliament in 1987. While in office, and before the outset of the Gulf War she offered to have sex with Saddam Hussein if he would release the foreign hostages. She was not reelected at the end of her term in 1991. Also in that year, Staller was among the founders of the political movement Partito dell’Amore (Love Party), spearheaded by her friend and fellow porn star Moana Pozzi.

In 2002, she began exploring the possibility of campaigning in Hungary, her country of birth, to represent Budapest’s industrial Kőbánya district in the Hungarian parliament. However, she failed to collect enough petition signatures for a non-partisan candidacy. In the same year, she ran in local elections in Monza, Italy, promising to convert a prominent building into a gambling casino, but she attracted few votes. In 2004, she announced plans to run for mayor of Milan with a similar promise.

She renewed her offer to have sex with Saddam Hussein in October 2002, when Iraq was resisting international pressure to allow inspections for weapons of mass destruction, and in 2006 made the same offer to Osama bin Laden.

Staller has recorded several songs, mostly from live performances, with explicit lyrics being sung to a children’s melody. Her most famous song is ‘Muscolo Rosso,’ a song entirely dedicated to ‘il cazzo,’ which means ‘the dick’ in Italian. Because of its extensive use of swear words, the song could not be released in Italy, but became a hit in other countries, especially in France, where the listeners did not grasp the meaning of the lyrics. The song gained considerable popularity in the internet era, when many Italian speakers were able to hear it for the first time.

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