Vittorio Cecchi Gori, whoseproduction, distribution and exhibition empire crumbled four years ago amid awhirlwind of bad debt and corruption charges, has been cleared of launderingmoney.
In 2001, the media baron wastemporarily placed under house arrest for alleged wrongdoings linked to thebankruptcy of his former football club, Fiorentina. He was alleged to havechannelled money away from his club, which later went bankrupt, to fund hisfilm production and distribution interests.
Since then, Cecchi Gori hasalways insisted that he was the victim of a campaign mounted against him andthe victim of fraud.
"I am not happy at all.I am furious," Cecchi Gori said in an interview with Italian daily IlMessaggero. "First they ruin meand then they say I haven't done anything wrong'"
Meanwhile, Cecchi Gori stillmaintains that he has so far only received a portion of the payment owed to himby Telecom Italia which acquired his financially beleaguered TV station,Telemontecarlo, in 2000.
"I want a parliamentinquiry on this matter, and I want my television networks back," CecchiGori told Il Messaggero. He added: "I want to know who the people are whotook advantage of the situation."
"Everything happened atthe same time' Fiorentina's auditors taking the books to court, TelecomItalia not paying me for my TV networks. What did they want me to do' Did theywant me to die' No, I've resisted. I haven't fired anyone, and 500 people havecontinued to work for me," he said.
Cecchi Gori has remainedactive as an exhibitor and has 42 screens across Italy. "I've kept all mycinemas. But the government will have to do something to support exhibition.Nowadays, you don't make money from exhibition. There are too manyscreens," he said.
Cecchi Gori is now set toproduce a new comedy from Italian actor-director Vincenzo Salemme, entitled Coseda Pazzi. Through his LA company,Cecchi Gori Pictures, he will also produce a remake of Dino Risi's 1962 roadmovie, Il Sorpasso. The film,which Cecchi Gori will produce alongside Gianni Nunnari and Greg Shapiro, willbe written by Carl Lund and directed by Steve Ramser.