The Scary Incident That Forced Sophia Loren To Move To Switzerland

When one becomes a star, something magnificent happens. Your name appears in lights across the world. Your face is plastered on screens, billboards, and newspapers as far as the eye can see. Everyone knows who you are. There's only one problem — everyone knows who you are. The chance to lead what most people consider to be a "normal" life is virtually eradicated. Ricky Gervais once said, "I didn't like the word 'celebrity.' I feared intrusion, you know? Make me famous, and suddenly you can go through my trash bins" (via Yahoo! News). It's true. However, some people don't stop at the trash bins — they aim for the real treasure. 

The beautiful and graceful Sophia Loren has garnered more admirers than most throughout her time in the limelight. To this day, her unprecedented desirability remains legendary, and hearts melt into puddles at the mere utterance of her name. All the same, her supreme reverence and success didn't come without a cost. In the case of a 1970 robbery that dismantled her peace of mind so badly that it prompted her to leave the country, the specific cost was around $700,000 dollars (per Closer Weekly). 

Sophia Loren was robbed in 1970

"Sophia Loren was robbed of jewelry reported to be worth $700,000 early yesterday by four gunmen who forced their way into her suite in the Hampshire House on Central Park South," a New York Times article from 1970 reported, following a robbery targeting Sophia Loren and certain valuables in her possession. On October 11th of that year, the actress's personal residence was invaded by gunmen who demanded precious gems that they knew she was holding. "I was shaking." Loren shared with reporters. "They came into the bedroom, you know, while I was asleep."

It was in the early hours of the morning that the thieves handcuffed four hotel employees and made them give up the keys to Loren's room. They knocked on the actress's door pretending to be hotel maintenance workers and told Inez Bruscia (her personal secretary) that there was a gas leak when she answered the call. They forced their way in and struck Bruscia over the head. When they came face-to-face with Loren, who was rudely awakened, they told her to hand over "the big stuff." Fearing for her life and that of her son Carlo Ponti Jr. who was sleeping in the neighboring room, she gave up a handful of jewelry that was worth just under a million dollars in total. The crooks fled the scene, drove off in a car parked outside the hotel, and were never apprehended by police.

Sophia Loren moved her family to Switzerland after the robbery

"Some people wonder why Carlo [Ponti — her late husband] and I eventually moved our family to Switzerland," Sophia Loren later shared about the 1970 incident. "Simple: we needed to be in a place where we could feel safer and live more peacefully" (per Closer Weekly). Following the shocking run-in with crooks, Loren and her family migrated to Switzerland in order to lead a more peaceful existence. 

"New York can't be judged by one act of crime," she told reporters after the robbery, "because criminality exists all over the world" (via The New York Times). All the same, an environment that wasn't exactly an epicenter of publicity and hot buzz seemed far preferable to the actress and her family. At the age of 87, she remains a resident of Geneva, Switzerland and leads a quiet, serene life day-to-day (per Living in Geneva).