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- October 20, 1980
- Vol. 14
- No. 16
An Exasperated Pinup Wants to Skin Penthouse Publisher Bob Guccione of $14 Million
Three days later she filed a $4 million lawsuit charging that Guccione tricked her into attending the dinner and reportedly has followed that with a $10 million suit for defamation. She claims she told Guccione in August that she wanted out of the competition. Furthermore, Isabel contends, his ballyhooed $300,000 first prize is really just a grab bag of merchandise, including a speedboat, a snowmobile, flying lessons and a year's worth of legal advice from palimony lawyer Marvin Mitchelson. (Ardigo, a model for Italian Vogue, has no need for Marvin's services: She lives alone in a one-bedroom flat in Rome and prefers "one boyfriend here and one there.")
Guccione claims Isabel's outburst was meant to pry more money from the magazine. Preparations had gone smoothly until the dinner. In fact, the magazine's publicity department had written her acceptance speech. It read, in part: "Bob Guccione...made me feel like part of the Penthouse family."
Ardigo had another surprise for reporters. She said she was actually Miami-bred Isabel Lanza, a college dropout. She adopted the pseudonym when she appeared as a Pet of the Month. That was "just a job," for which she received $4,000, she explains.
"Is there a point when one can stop being a Pet?" the 125-pound beauty now wants to know. Perhaps. Since the flurry of publicity, she says she has gotten a feeler about a movie role from producer Dino Di Laurentiis. Ironically, if she lands a part, Ardigo/Lanza could become the most successful Penthouse Pet ever.
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