Moana Pozzi: The Hardcore Life And Times Of Italy’s Adult Superstar

Moana Pozzi lived more in 33 years than most people do in an entire lifetime.

Italian porn star Moana Pozzi.
Moana Pozzi Italy's Most Famous Porn star

Back in November, Disney were making headlines for some rather unusual reasons in Italy when upcoming animated effort Moana had its name mysteriously altered to Oceania.

The reason behind the change was more unusual than most – Disney were concerned that the name Moana would hold too many associations with the late adult movie star turned politician and media personality Moana Pozzi. But then again, unusual tended to be the norm for Moana.

Born in Genoa, Italy back in 1961, Moana moved around the world for much of her formative years, with her father, Alfredo’s, job as a nuclear engineer taking the Pozzis from Italy to Canada, Brazil and France.

By the time she had turned 19, Pozzi had set her sights on becoming a star and was living in Rome, picking up work as a model while she studied acting.

Moana enjoyed some success in those early years too, landing a presenting role on the Italian children’s TV favourite Tip Tap Club on Rete 2. But scandal struck when it was discovered Pozzi had appeared in the hardcore adult film Valentina, Ragazza In Calore under the name Linda Heveret.

Suspended from her role on Tip Tap Club, Pozzi nevertheless enjoyed a newfound level of popularity in her native Italy.

An appearance in Federico Fellini’s Ginger and Fred followed in 1985 before Pozzi met Italian adult movie impresario Riccardo Schicchi.

By 1986 she had fully embraced the adult film world, starring most notably in Fantastica Moana.

The controversy continued in the years that followed, most notably when Pozzi took part in Curve Deliziose, the first live show in Italy where naked models took to the stage to perform masturbation. She also regularly appeared completely nude on Matrijoska.

Pozzi was no fool though. An intelligent, thoughtful presence in the media, she regularly rubbed shoulders with some of Italy’s most notable intellectuals of the time.

Sophisticated and open-minded, Pozzi’s time as a youth travelling around the world made her a captivating presence on the screen  – either with or without her clothes on. “Obscenity is sublime,” she once famously told The New Yorker.

By 1991, she had branched out into writing, with her first book Moana’s Philosophy, a tell-all tale of her celebrity sexual conquests with alleged lovers like Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Marco Tardelli and former Prime Minister Bettino Crazi given ratings out of 10.

A year later, in 1992, she turned to politics, co-founding the Love Party of Italy which called for the legalisation of brothels, the creation of special love parks and improvements in sex education.

She also ran for mayor of Rome the same year, claiming 1 per cent of the vote in the process – not bad going for an actress who, by then, had appeared in close to 100 adult movies.

By 1993, Pozzi was at the peak of her fame. Worth an estimated 25 million euros, Karl Lagerfeld wanted to take Moana back to her modelling roots while she was also the subject of her own animated film, Moanaland.

But just as it appeared Pozzi was set to conquer the world, tragedy struck. Unable to eat without vomiting, Moana was losing weight fast and didn’t know why.

Taking time away from the spotlight, she travelled to India and then France with her husband Antonio Di Ciesco, whom she had married three years earlier.

But there was nothing they could do. On September 15 1994, Moana Pozzi died at the age of just 33.

Speculation over the cause of death continued for much of the next decade, until a TV report some 10 years after her passing confirmed that Pozzi had passed following a short battle with liver cancer. As per the instructions left in her will, some of her vast fortune went towards researching treatments for these types of diseases.

Two years later, another twist in the tale of Moana Pozzi emerged when her brother, Simone, revealed something few could have ever predicted – that he was Moana’s son.

By 2007, it was her husband’s turn to speak on the subject of Moana in what was perhaps the most heart-breaking revelation of all.

With Moana during her final days in Lyon, France, Di Ciesco revealed to il Messaggero that Moana had asked him to speed up her death. He claims to have done exactly that too, allowing air to enter her IV, creating a lethal air embolism in the process.

A pioneer for free speech and equal rights as much as she was a notorious adult star and media celebrity, Moana Pozzi truly embodied the old mantra about living fast and dying young.

Perhaps Disney did the right thing in avoiding using the name Moana – because Pozzi’s story is one that needs to be told.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.