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How Beverly d’Angelo’s divorce led to her relationship with Al Pacino

The actress told ‘People’ magazine how Lorenzo Salviati happily divorced her so that she could be with ‘The Godfather’ star

Al Pacino y Beverly d'Angelo
Al Pacino and Beverly d'Angelo at a movie premiere in 1999.Ron Galella (Ron Galella Collection via Getty)
Belén Hernández

Demonstrations of love often happen in the most unexpected ways, even through divorce. This could be considered the case in Beverly D’Angelo’s relationship with Al Pacino, 82. While promoting her new film Violent Night (2022), the 72-year-old actress spoke to People magazine about how her divorce from Italian duke Lorenzo Salviati, who she eloped with and married in the early 1980s, marked the beginning of her love story with The Godfather star.

In the interview, she says she called Salviati and told him “I’m in love.” “He goes, ‘Oh, Beverly, who is it this time?’ And I said, ‘Well, it’s an actor.’ He went, ‘An actor? No, no, not an actor.’ And I said, ‘I really love him, and we’re talking about having kids, and he thinks it’s crazy that I’m married, and now I’m thinking it is too.’”

D’Angelo explains that she and the Italian duke had an open relationship. As part of this understanding, they were allowed to see other people, but if one of them wanted to end the arrangement, they would talk about it and reach an agreement to separate.

According to D’Angelo, Salviati couldn’t understand why anybody would be uncomfortable with the arrangement. “He went, ‘Oh, that’s ridiculous. Who thinks this is crazy, this perfect relationship? Who is this actor?’ I said, ‘Well, it’s Al Pacino.’ He goes, ‘Al Pacino, he’s fantastic. I love him. We divorce!’”

D’Angelo says the two separated on amicable terms. “We just signed the papers,” she explained. “That’s when my mother-in-law started to love me, I think. It took her 15 years to understand that I wasn’t in [the marriage] for a title or wealth or for privilege.” To this day, D’Angelo still considers Salviati her soul mate: “It was a great love match.”

Beverly d'Angelo at the 'Silent Night' premiere on November 29, 2022 in Los Angeles.
Beverly d'Angelo at the 'Silent Night' premiere on November 29, 2022 in Los Angeles.MARIO ANZUONI (REUTERS)

And that was how D’Angelo and Pacino were able to embark on their relationship. They remained a couple for six years, between 1997 and 2003, and had two children together: twins Olivia and Anton James, who are now 21 years old. “The greatest gift that Al ever gave me was to make me a mother,” D’Angelo, who had children at age 49 via IVF, told People magazine.

“After we’d known each other for three months, [Al] looked me in the eyes and said, ‘I want you to be the mother of my children.’ That’s all I had to hear,” the actress told Closer Weekly magazine in 2017.

D’Angelo’s children accompanied her to the Los Angeles premiere of Violent Night, in what was their first red carpet appearance beside their mother. “Of course, they’ve been to the Oscars and various premieres with their father, but this was the first time it was mom’s turn and we just had a fantastic time together. It was so great,” she told TooFab after the event.

For his part, Pacino has always been wary of discussing his personal life with the media. However, in a 2020 interview with EL PAÍS, the actor admitted that he always dreamed of having a big family. “I know it’s hard for a child to grow up without the attention of their parents [Pacino’s parents divorced when he was a baby]. I myself was not a good father to Julia [his eldest daughter, whom he had at 49], and things improved with the twins [Anton and Olivia, who were born when he was 61]. Do you know what joy is? Seeing the years go by with those three,” he said.

Pacino celebrated his 82nd birthday last April with his girlfriend Noor Alfallah. According to The Daily Mail, the actor went out to dinner with some friends and his current partner, the 28-year-old film producer, at the Italian restaurant Jones in West Hollywood.

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