Of all the research discoveries I made
over the years, I think the most intriguing was my theory that Jean
Valentino was Rudolph Valentino's love child. This was something
first suggested to me by my literary agent some time in 2003 and I
then began trying to prove or disprove it and see what the facts
I discovered a decades-long cover-up,
with many documents missing.. with the surviving bits and pieces
creating a story which became more coherent and obvious over time. To
date not one piece of evidence I have uncovered disputes the theory.
I was perhaps the most skeptical of all and it took me years to be
convinced Jean was Rudolph's biological child. I presented the story
as a circumstantial case in Affairs Valentino and included in
the book's Special Edition, our follow-up research and analysis.
I ask today what would you conclude
from the following?
Why would a loving mother send her
favorite son to America knowing she would most probably never see him
again and do this in the dead of winter a few weeks before Christmas?
This was long before ships had stabilizers and at a time when the
North Atlantic Sea was bitterly cold and rough.
Why did Rudolph's brother Alberto tell
Spanish journalist Baltazar Cue, he did not see Rudolph before he
left for America because his brother had to go first to Turin to see
a woman he considered his great love?
Why did Alberto appear to be employed
as a City Clerk in a town where he and his wife Ada held no official
residence and where Alberto would be able to register Jean's birth?
And I add a job he would leave shortly after this.
Why.. under the address of the baby
Jean's birth and residence did Alberto pencil in an address in Turin;
hundreds of miles from where he was registering the birth?
Why was this address that of Alberto's
wife Ada's family, the Del Mazzones who moved to Turin just weeks
prior to the birth?
Why did Gabrielle, Rudolph's mother,
leave with her daughter Maria when baby Jean would have been but a
couple of months old to move to France and an active and deadly war
zone? Why would she leave a peaceful city of Taranto, her son Alberto
and her new and only grandson to flee so far and into conflict?
Why are there no baby pictures of Jean
and the first we see are the ones taken in Campobasso in 1923 when he
was nine years old?
Why was Jean given the French version
of the name Giovanni?
Why are all of the Guglielmi family
forms missing from Turin, Campobasso, Santeramo en Colle?
Why is there no registry evidence of
Alberto or Ada as having ever lived in Turin when they cite this as
residence on American immigration papers?
Why did Rudolph send regular funds to
Alberto to support Jean?
Why did Alberto tell a reporter in 1977
that Rudolph attempted to legally adopt Jean?
Why did Rudolph bequeath his estate to
Why was evidence of this hidden for
decades... why did the second page of Valentino's will disappear
with Alberto telling the world he, his sister and Natacha's Aunt
Teresa were the heirs. They were not. They were to receive designated
weekly stipends while George Ullman managed the estate funds to
produce movies and invest while only Jean stood to inherit the estate
when he turned twenty-five. This was covered up and I have addressed
this from many angles in the books and in the podcast episodes.
And why did nearly everyone who saw
Jean personally when they visited Rudolph in 1926... including
Baltazar Cue and Pola Negri... comment on how Jean looked exactly
like Rudolph? And Bill Self told me the same after knowing Jean as an
Why, in her speech in Turin in 2009,
did Jeanine Villalobos read a letter Rudolph wrote to Ada...in which
he comments, “If Jean grows up to be like me...” How many uncles
wonder if their nephews will grow up to be like them and not their
I guess you see my point and the timing
of Jean's birth makes this all possible. This is a compelling
circumstantial case and it was never built from one piece of evidence
but from the totality of them all.
I think it was a common predicament and
for some families it still is. But if Rudolph got a young woman in
Taranto pregnant, why did he not stay to marry her? Perhaps because
she was already married? And if she was already married then why not
just say it was a child of her marriage? I believe something happened
which made Rudolph's banishment to America necessary to save two
families reputations. Did he have an affair with his sister-in-law?
This would sure explain it. But who was the mother? One of Ada's
sisters? The Del Mazzone family lived at the address Alberto penciled
in as the location of Jean's birth.
I believe... as I have written... that
Jean was born in Turin at this address Alberto entered as Via Nizza
9. I believe mother Gabrielle could have arranged the position of City Clerk for
Alberto with the sole purpose to register the child there and with a
French name. She would then have been able to travel to France with the baby and
Maria. If this was the case, when she died, Jean would have then appeared back in Italy only four years old.
Did Gabrielle plan to reunite Jean with
Rudolph in France? Were the reports of Ada's fragility and nervous
condition a result of living her life with a great secret to bear?
There are so many unanswered questions
but it is my belief after studying all the documentation we did
uncover that Rudolph left for America as a total banishment. If he
had not become rich and famous, the Guglielmi family would probably
have never seen him again. Unless you were very wealthy, you did not
travel back and forth between New York and Castellaneta. Even today
that is a daunting journey and I know because have made it.
I know there are those who find issue
with this theory but I stand behind it until something proves it
otherwise. And I add I have never stated this as fact despite others
claiming I have. But I believe personally Rudolph Valentino could have had a son
and made him his sole heir. People do not generally make their
nephews sole heirs and try to adopt them. And Alberto's agreeing to a
possible adoption is stunning as it meant he and Ada were willing to
surrender all paternal and maternal rights to “their” child.
I am extremely proud to have been the
person to share this evidence and hope some day this will be
confirmed and oddly it might have been... which I mentioned in a
previous post and share again here.