When Eurotrash returned to Channel 4 for a special one-off in 2016, there was no mention of arguably the show’s most notable regular Lolo Ferrari.
But perhaps the programme makers were right to omit her from the show, because the story behind Ferrari’s life and self-loathing is almost too upsetting to comprehend.
Famous for her 36MMM cosmetically-enhanced breasts, which helped land her work as as a model and adult film star, the reality was that behind the charade of her many plastic surgeries stood a woman who, despite her fame, rarely found a moment of happiness or peace.
Born as Eve Valois in Clermont-Ferrand in France, Lolo endured a difficult start to life with her father busy with his work as a nuclear energy official and her mother a less-than-caring presence in a family of four children.
“My mother told me I was ugly and stupid,” she once explained in an interview.
“She said I was only good for emptying chamber pots. I wanted to be an anesthetist, but you can’t learn with a mother like that…When I was born, it was herself that she saw and she stuck all sorts of negative stuff on me. She did all she could to stop me living.”
Keen to rebel and prove her mother wrong, Lolo embarked on a modelling career as a teenager and enjoyed some success, landing a series of contracts.
Things soon took a turn for the worse though when Lolo came into contact with the other negative influence in her life – her future husband and manager Eric Vigne.
A one-time drug dealer who was 15 years her senior, after less than a year together the pair had married and he soon began to dominate Lolo’s life, overseeing all of her business affairs, including the developing a side-line as her pimp, according to Channel 4 documentary series The Dark Side Of Porn.
During this time, he also convinced her to undergo the first of 22 breast enlargement procedures which, to this day, stands as an unwanted Guinness World Record.
By the end of Ferrari was forced to wear a specially engineered brassiere for her 36MMM silicone-based breasts, which some claimed had been engineered by the man behind the Boeing 747 though the reality was most likely far more mundane.
The surgeries did give her some success of sorts with a series of porn films made between 1996 and 1999 which, along with her stint on Eurotrash, helped make her a star in the eyes of a select few.
Ferrari craved legitimate fame though and sought it through a failed pop career that saw her release songs like “Airbag Generation” and “Set Me Free” to little fanfare.
But the inescapable fact was that Lolo wasn’t happy and her unhappiness was getting worse.
By now on a heady mix of up to 12mg of prescription anti-depressants, Lolo’s countless cosmetic procedures, which went beyond her breasts, had failed to address the real problem – she hated herself and she hated her life.
“All this stuff has been because I can’t stand life. But it hasn’t changed anything” she once admitted in an interview, republished by The Guardian.
“I was frightened and I was ashamed; I wanted to change my face, my body, to transform myself. I wanted to die, really.”
In the end, Lolo would only find something approaching peace on March 5, 2000, when, at the age of just 37, she was found dead by her husband Vigne.
There would be one final twist though when her husband was arrested and imprisoned for some 13 months after it was discovered, via a second autopsy, that mechanically-induced suffocation could not be ruled out as the cause of death,
Eventually cleared with the original verdict of suicide by overdose put back in place, Lolo was finally laid to rest.
When her obituary was read out on Eurotrash, there was no campy music or quips – just the remembrance of a woman whose life rarely felt like her own.
Beneath all the cosmetics, Lolo was as beautiful as anyone and capable of anything she could have put her mind to. It’s just a shame she never had anyone around her to tell her that was the case.
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