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Italian Judge Awards Custody of Child to Staller

April 11, 1995

ROME (AP) _ Former sex-film star Ilona Staller won custody of her 2-year-old son Tuesday, ending one end of a trans-Atlantic court battle with her ex-husband, American pop artist Jeffrey Koons.

Judge Paolo Giuliani granted Staller custody of the boy, Ludwig Maximilian, and told Koons he could visit the child at any time as long as the visit takes place in Rome and in the presence of Staller or anyone delegated by her.

Koons still has legal rights over the child in the United States.

``I’m super happy,″ said Staller, a former Parliament member better known by her stage name, Cicciolina.

Staller said the judge rejected her ex-husband’s claims that she was an unfit mother because ``Koons knew I was a porno star before we had a child.″ The court did not give details of the grounds for the judge’s decision.

Koons had filed a motion asking the Italian court to enforce a New York judge’s ruling in December that Staller turn over their son. Staller had refused to comply with the U.S. decision.

After Tuesday’s decision, Staller said she would not allow Ludwig to travel to the United States because ``it is crazy for a mother to risk losing her child forever.″

When Ludwig turns 14 he can decide for himself which parent he wants to live with, said Staller, who served in parliament from 1987 to 1991.

The judge also ordered Koons to pay Staller $2,900 a month in child support. Staller claims that for the past 10 months she has not seen any of the child support U.S. judges had told Koons to pay.

Koons, 40, and Staller, 43, were married in 1991 in Hungary, Staller’s native country. They met when Koons hired her to pose with him in sexually explicit photos, paintings and sculptures that were widely exhibited in galleries.