Tainted Love

The Mafia Cougar and Her Captive Gigolo

The ex-wife of a Camorra crime boss allegedly locked her 25-year-old lover in the basement after he refused to bed her.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

“No” apparently doesn’t always mean “no.” Sometimes, “no” will get you locked in a basement. At least that’s what seems to have happened to an amorous 25-year-old Neapolitan man when he refused to continue a sexual affair with a woman nearly twice his age.

The cougar in question, the 46-year-old ex-wife of a Camorra crime boss— identified by Naples’ Il Mattino newspaper as Antonella A.—apparently didn’t like the young man’s refusal to bed her at her demand. After giving him every opportunity to rise to the occasion, she allegedly locked him in the basement of her summer villa, in the town of Arzano outside Naples, hoping he would come around to the idea of hopping back into bed. He didn’t.

Instead, the young man, whose name has not been released due to privacy concerns (and because he is not being charged with any crime), cried for help whenever a visitor entered the villa—including other young lovers whom the signora reportedly brought home in an attempt to make him jealous. Local Neapolitan press reports say the man miraculously found his cellphone at some point and called for help. When police arrived, they allegedly found the young man locked in a windowless mini-apartment in the basement, which was described as a tad garçonnière in its décor, implying that the former mob wife indeed liked to keep a bachelor pad play den for her men.

To complicate matters, the young man freed from captivity was apparently the son of a friend of Antonella’s. According to media reports, he was invited to stay at the Neapolitan villa for free after the family suffered economic hardship. Antonella, who normally lives near Genova, gave the keys to her villa to the friend in need, suggesting that the lower apartment would be perfect for her son.

During that time, the young man and the older woman established a “porno-phonic” relationship, according to Il Mattino newspaper, quoting the accused woman’s defense lawyer. The two regularly engaged in long-distance phone and video-chat sex simulations.

Since the young man was a freeloader, perhaps Antonella felt that he at least owed her the attention she required.

When the man’s mother left for the summer, Antonella invited the man to travel to Genova. When he declined the offer, she returned to the Naples suburb, where they allegedly had a night of wild sex, according to Il Mattino, which quoted police sources and court records. After the alleged tryst, she wanted more; he refused; and he was apparently locked away.

Italy has a thriving cougar culture fed by a growing number of hookup sites where older women can find younger men for companionship and sex. Many sites promise young men financial security—which, during the lingering economic crisis, is obviously key. Others offer what is described as a nurturing, maternal mate for young men who just don’t relate to women their age.

According to a recent survey conducted by Cougaritalia.com, the older woman-younger man business in Italy is booming, netting around €19 million a year in online hookup services across the country. “Younger men who date older women often do it because they feel safe and secure,” says Alex Fantini, founder of Cougaritalia.com. Though that is probably not exactly how Antonella’s young lover felt during his time in captivity.

Antonella has been arraigned in a court near Naples and released on house arrest pending a trial, where she faces charges of holding someone in captivity against their will. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 12 years. The young man has reportedly been evicted from Antonella A.’s villa now that he’s no longer agreeing to help out around the house.