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Ex-porn star bid to be Milan mayor
Updated: 2004-08-07 14:14

A former porn star and one-time Italian lawmaker says she plans to run for mayor of Milan, saying she would like to make the Italian financial capital more "exciting," perhaps by opening a casino.

Staller: Once offered to have sex with Saddam Hussein in return for the freeing of foreign hostages.
Ilona Staller, widely known by her stage name, "Cicciolina," told The Associated Press that if elected in the city's 2006 mayoral vote, she hopes to make Milan "an exciting place."

"Exciting is an ambiguous word, I know, that is why people like it," said the 52-year-old, who has been known to bare her breasts at news conferences. She was speaking in a telephone interview.

"I want to open a casino in the Sforzesco Castle so City Hall can have more money," she said of the 15th century monument, a tourist attraction that hosts cultural programmes in the heart of Milan.

Staller told reporters Wednesday that she is trying to collect 1,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot. If she makes it, Staller said she will run as an independent and use her "smiling, beautiful face" as a symbol.

Staller emigrated to Italy from Hungary in the 1970s, and soon after began making porn films under the screen name "Cicciolina." She acted in nearly 40 porn films and live shows before quitting the business in 1989.

She entered politics in 1987 when she won a seat in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Parliament, on the Radical party ticket.

Three years later, Staller publicly offered to have sex with Saddam Hussein if the then-Iraqi leader agreed to free foreigners being held hostage in Iraq before the Gulf War.

Staller did not run for re-election at the end of her five-year term, but her interest in politics remained -- she made a failed bid to get on the ballot for a parliamentary election in her native Hungary in 2002.

That same year, she also lost a mayoral election in Monza, a town near Milan.

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