Beleaguered Italian media mogul Vittorio Cecchi Gori, whose production, distribution and exhibition empire recently fell apart in a morass of bad debts and corruption charges, is back.

At a Cannes press conference, the carefully-coiffed helmsman of the Cecchi Gori Group, created by his father Mario, claimed that he has been "a victim of persecution"

Without naming Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi - whose Medusa group has been the principal beneficiary of the implosion - Cecchi Gori warned darkly that he had not opened his mouth in three years of legal entanglements "because I didn't know what was happening to me... but now I've understood".

Cecchi Gori's return to domestic and international production will be spearheaded by seven Italian projects involving directors who have already worked for his group in the past, including Carlo Verdone, Gianni Amelio, Ricky Tognazzi and the Vanzina brothers. He also intends to revive the distribution and exhibition arms of his Rome-based group.

Cecchi Gori also announced that he was planning a film based on his rise and fall, to be directed by Marco Risi. He did not specify whether the forthcoming auto-biopic would include the celebrated scene in which carabinieri break into Cecchi Gori's Roman pad to find him in bed with pneumatic starlet Valeria Marini (when asked later how she reacted, the resourceful entraineuse replied "we ordered breakfast").