Wednesday, September 30, 2020

New Revelations About Valentino's 1913 Arrival in New York

Renato Writes:

It is important for many people to remain faithful to what is now proving to be the most inaccurate biographical account of Rodolfo Valentino's life, My Private Diary. These faithful proclaim when Valentino arrived in New York, on that fateful 22nd of December 1913, that there was not a soul waiting for him and he wandered lonely in search of a safe haven with very little money.

We have always maintained that in New York there were at least two people waiting for him, Francesco “Frank” Mennillo, a family friend who took the 18-year-old Rodolfo under his wing. Another person waiting for him was Ernesto Filomarino, uncle of Rodolfo's sister-in-law, Ada Delmazzone. Although Tracy Ryan Terhune has called the presence of wealthy benefactors when Valentino arrived in America “fabrication”, he is 100% wrong and it is fact with increasing evidence presenting itself as follows.

Regarding Ernesto Filomarino, we found an interesting interview given by one of his employees; an Italian emigrant William Bianchino, a native of Coggiola in the province of Biella who arrived in the United States with his parents when he was only five years old.

I now give the floor to Mr. Bianchino who will tell you something about the arrival of Rodolfo Valentino, (see article below). He writes:

When Valentino came to this country from Taranto, Italy, he came directly to our office because my boss, Mr. Filomarino was a good friend of Valentino's mother".

In regard to money, Mr. Bianchino tells us Rodolfo, working as a dancer, earned $75 dollars a week, equal to the current $1,963.47. To this we can add a weekly remittance from mother Gabrielle of $5 dollars, equal to $ 130.90 today. I believe an income of $8,377.48 per month, for an eighteen year old Rodolfo, has little to do with the much vaunted misery in the fictional story told in My Private Diary.

These are the words of Mr. Bianchino:

I recall Valentino told me he made 75$ a week by dancing and on that salary he had to change clothes three times a day to meet reporters and his money was spent like that”. He also had the weekly $5 which his mother sent from Italy, according to Bianchino.

Bianchino also tells an interesting story of how he convinced Valentino not to relocate to Tulsa, Oklahoma. A fascinating read! (with an enlargement below)

           The article appeared in The News, Paterson, New Jersey, December 20, 1969.





This advertisement for Ernesto Filomarino's business in 1913, was found on E-bay.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Frank Mennillo - Guardian of Valentino's Last Words

I have reported how Valentino, in his final hours of life, whispered something to Frank Mennillo. Mennillo shared this secret only with Alberto Valentino. I have also reported on what I feel Valentino said to his godfather Frank and how Alberto reacted.

But today I ask...was Valentino's whisper not a blessing on Frank... now existing as evidence of Valentino's eternal acknowledgment Frank was considered family, that Frank was to be trusted, evidence that Frank was the godfather? There is something sacred in that recorded moment. Valentino chose Frank as guardian of his secret.

For those who demean themselves by demeaning and belittling this “great comrade” Frank Mennillo, I share the following. This is not "fabrication" it is fact: Frank Mennillo was certainly there when Valentino died. Valentino died in his godfather's arms.


                                 Daily News, New York, New York, September 2, 1926.

Monday, September 28, 2020

The Cabriolet!

Thank you to a friend who forwarded this image (see below). Rudolph and Natacha, side by side, test driving their new vehicles in the Bois de Boulogne in 1923. This image is particularly interesting to me because we see Natacha's custom two-seated Isotta Fraschini Cabriolet. The vehicle was shipped to New York and sold when the Valentino's moved back to Los Angeles. George Ullman reports how Natacha was the envy of all Manhattan in that luxury car.

Renato informs me all Isotta Fraschinis were custom made and the company only sold the chassis and engine. The expense was extreme as by today's exchange rate it would cost @$165,000. After purchasing the Isotta Fraschini chassis and engines, the bodies of both of these vehicles were custom-crafted by Voisin. 

Rudy is seen here (below) test driving his purchase of a Voisin roadster. Doesn't the “driver” in the back seat look bored in both of the images? I bet he wishes he was at home with a good bottle of French wine!

Rudy placed his custom orders with the designer and then owner of the Aéroplanes Voisin, Gabriel Voisin. Gabriel (below) owned the business with his brother Charles until Charles was killed test driving one of their vehicles in 1912.



Saturday, September 26, 2020

Purchasing Prints was Expensivo

In the years since my dear friend, colleague and comrade in arms, Michael Morris' death, I have had legal custody of his Madam Valentino archive. Michael published Madam Valentino in 1991 and years before digital access to images. When I began work on Affairs Valentino in 2000, I was just then having access. But Michael had to purchase all of the physical prints. I am also surprised he had possession of so many of the 8" x 10" negatives which his publisher Abbeville apparently sent to him. 

The negatives in their sleeves with their data are especially beautiful. When Michael first loaned me his archive in 2003, all of these photographs were kept in one huge cardboard box. I am still working out a system. I will be housing all of the archive at some point but am also hoping to be able to have it digitally housed online, most probably on archive.org. 

Meanwhile...Thank-you! Michael. 





Friday, September 25, 2020

This is Not a Feud

 Today I spotted someone writing about this “Feud” in the Valentino world. Actually I think she said a “huge feud.” I would post this comment on that. It is no feud.

If you are walking down the street and you see a gang of thugs beating up a couple of elderly people... those two elderly folks are not “feuding” with their attackers. They are having the shit kicked out of them.

It is not a “feud” in the Valentino world. If that is what this person thinks, then she needs to do a bit more homework and check out the evidence.

The Campaign to Ruin Evelyn/kicking the shit out of two elderly folks... drags on now for what is it... year eleven?

I think it is high time for that gang of thugs to retire from their crazed wickedness and find some cabin deep, deep, deep, deep in the woods where they can all happily pull the wings off flies.


This video was made on our way to El Jadida in the fall of 2011.


Thursday, September 24, 2020

We Do Not Fabricate Documents, Mr. Terhune.

 So Tracy Ryan Terhune cites Valentino's “arrival money” in the US in 1913 as being $4000, which by today's currency exchange would be... as cited @ www.in2013dollars.com  the equivalent today of about $105,017.37.  

I ask Terhune, how could Valentino have possibly burned through that kind of money within a few days of his arrival to spend his first Christmas in New York broke? Impossible. Even for Valentino.

And Terhune tells a follower on his Facebook group that our reporting Valentino gave his destination in NYC as a wealthy Uncle Ernesto is just, “fabrication”. Is he kidding? He tells people on his Facebook group we fabricated the Ellis Island records? Ernesto was a successful businessman, Ada's uncle and we found evidence he sponsored other family members as well. Terhune is the great fabricator in this one.

We do not “fabricate” and he knows that. But then this is the man who stated our work belonged in the “trash bin of Valentino history”. This is the man who runs the blog under the title of Affairs Valentino to deceive our web traffic. This is the man who calls us names, mocking our ages, with a “tick tock” counting down to our deaths, who mocks Renato as the man “wearing a dress”, etc., etc.

This is the man who provides a platform for David Bret to violate the court order with his vile defamatory comments about us. So now Terhune claims we “fabricated” the data of Rudy's arrival in NYC. This is tantamount to him calling the Mennillos liars, the Filomarino family liars and us forgers who I guess fabricated those Ellis Island records which are all on file online? Ridiculous. I think Terhune and Hill's followers should exercise some critical thinking and call them out on this.

Instead of welcoming new work done on their favorite subject, they dismiss it all saying we “fabricate”. The Guglielmis were not a poor family and Valentino did not arrive in NYC as some economically impoverished person with a cardboard suitcase in hand. This was and still is a sham of a studio-generated version of events published about Valentino to garner sympathy.

Tracy Terhune ignores the records on file, ignores the facts we brought forth over years of hard work, while still trying to appear as some authority. Valentino arriving with the equivalency of just over 100,000$ and with wealthy family in NYC... whose address he gave to the authorities... Mr. Terhune and Ms. Hill that is not our fabrication.

See previous post titled, “Who Was Ernesto Filomarino?”

David Bret Found Guilty of Defaming Evelyn Zumaya

In 2014, after four years of online attacks from David Bret, which he posted daily on multiple social media venues and at one point on some five blogs designated to threatening me and savaging our reputations...I sued Bret in The Court of Asti in Italy, charging defamation. I won the case in 2016 and Bret was found guilty of defamation. 

As he has continued to bully and defame me by posting online that the case was fraudulent, the lawyers “crooked” and that I faked the entire thing, I share a few pages of the verdict. I address Tracy Ryan Terhune's comment meant to diminish this verdict; his  saying it was “just a default judgment.” Well, it was not.

In Italy there is no default judgment and in her verdict, the Honorable Judge Monica Mastrandrea included a good deal of specific commentary about her judgment. (see below excerpted) She found David Bret guilty of defaming me and condemned "the offending nature of his behavior".... I add he has yet to comply with a single aspect of the Judge's verdict and that is where the case stands currently as he continues to bully us, bully all of our attorneys and even the legal firms they work for. And throughout this gross violation of a standing court order, Tracy Terhune provides a platform for Bret to post illegal defamation of us disguised as commentary on his hijacked blog he runs under my book's title. 

This is a public case and always has been and all documents are public records. To read the case as it was filed, the Italian court's official translation of the verdict and view the body of evidence presented against Bret visit, www.zumayawinslawsuit.com  And I quote Judge Mastrandrea's verdict: