MADRID, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The fiance of Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida said he called off their wedding because of the media attention, not their age difference.
Spanish property entrepreneur Javier Rigau Rifols, 45, in a statement issued by his lawyer in Madrid, said he "would always love and respect" the actress but couldn't endure the media scrutiny, Italy's ANSA news agency reported Thursday.
The 79-year-old actress, who once vied with Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot as world's sexiest woman, and Rifols had said they would marry Nov. 29 in New York, ANSA said. But in mid-November the couple announced they were postponing the date until January and moving ceremony to Rome.
There was no immediate reaction from Lollobrigida.
The couple created a stir in October when they announced their wedding, revealing they dated for 22 years after meeting in 1984 when he was 23 and she 57.