Sophia Loren Cleared of Tax Evasion Charges 39 Years Later

10/24/2013 at 05:20 PM EDT

Sophia Loren Cleared of Tax Evasion Charges 39 Years Later
Sophia Loren
At long last, Sophia Loren can say, "Arrivederci!" to a legal dispute with Italian tax authorities that began 39 years ago.

Italy's Supreme Court has finally cleared Loren of tax evasion charges that began with her 1974 tax return and landed her in a low-security women's prison for 17 days in 1982.

Loren called the ruling "a miracle of justice," and told Italian reporters, "[When] it seems there is no longer any hope, it is still possible justice will be done."

The dispute began in 1974 when Loren, now 79, declared less income because her compensation from the film Il viaggio was deferred, moving her to a lower tax bracket.

Officials claimed she should have paid the rate of the higher tax bracket, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Loren appealed the ruling, which has been making its way through the Italian judicial system at a snail's pace. The Court finally ruled this week that the star should never have been jailed and did, in fact, pay the correct amount.

Sophia Loren Cleared of Tax Evasion Charges 39 Years Later| Crime & Courts, Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren in 1982

Gianni Giansanti / Sygma / Corbis

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