Nancy Dell'Olio: The lawyer on the Edinburgh Fringe, dealing with the tabloids, running for political office and €10 leggings


My mother says I always wanted to be famous There are certainly times when it's fun and I enjoy it, but not always. Sometimes it's nice to walk down the street and be recognised but other times I would like to be invisible.

People might think they know me, but they don't really My show at the Edinburgh Fringe is a chance for people to get close to me. The chance to be direct is appealing because there is always an interpreter between me and whoever is reading what is written about me. There are things in the show that people will be surprised by. Some are quite dramatic, some sad, some things will make them laugh. Actually, I think I'm quite funny.

The British tabloids are unique Whatever they say, it's probably not true. One day you're the best person in the world, the next you are the worst, so I have always had to detach myself from them as nothing is real. I am quite a sensitive person, so some of the things written about me were very upsetting.

We can always improve who we are We have a journey to go through in life; it doesn't give us all we want but it does show us the next step. Having regrets is useless because they don't take us anywhere. It is better to love and to move on than to be bitter.

I'm reflecting on what I want to do next Do I want to be in entertainment, or go back to practising civil-rights law, or continue to develop my entrepreneurial side, or maybe even run for political office? Maybe doing the show will help me work that out.

I am spiritual but not religious I was brought up Catholic but that was my mother's religion and I will not define myself by it. I like to study the history of religions and recently I've discovered the power of praying.

There's still so much to do on women's issues We live in a world that's sexist and misogynist, not to mention ageist, and a lot of violence against women is because many men feel that women have taken their place in society. I am not in competition with men; all I ask is that they respect me.

I would not walk out the door without dressing properly and putting on make-up I was with my family in Italy recently and my mother pointed out that I changed four times in a day, which I had to laugh at as it was true. But I don't necessarily spend a lot of money on how I look – today I'm wearing a simple outfit and while some of it is expensive, the leggings I bought for €10 at a market. I do like a bargain.

I think of myself as a citizen of the world I was born in New York, brought up in Italy, went back to New York to study and have lived in London for 13 years. I am a passionate European but do not believe in a federal Europe. I suppose I would define my politics as centrist, but I do not have any party affiliation because that is limiting. [Dell'Olio worked on Silvio Berlusconi's first campaign in 1994.]

I believe in fidelity We can all make mistakes and there are some situations where we can stray, as monogamy is not a natural state. For me, I have to say, "How did that happen?" and make a choice to stay or go with another person, as I did [when I left] my husband [Giancarlo Mazza, whom she left for Sven-Göran Eriksson in 1998].

I like football now I didn't like it when I met Sven-Göran, but my philosophy is what you can't change you must go along with. I like it because it's quite brainy, a mind game.

Nancy Dell'Olio's Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, 'Rainbows from Diamonds' is at the Gilded Balloon at 8.15pm from Thursday to 24 August (

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas