James Gandolfini died of a massive heart attack in 2013 while vacationing in Italy. While Hollywood still mourns all of the projects the Sopranos star could have been a part of, others are still feeling the impact of his death over in Italy.
According to NBC News, one paramedic who tried to help Gandolfini is being accused of stealing the actor’s Rolex watch while he was dying. Now, paramedic Claudio Bevilacqua is on trial for stealing the Rolex while Gandolfini was dying of a massive heart attack.
The Rolex in question, a Submariner piece, is worth an estimated $3,000. As of right now, it’s not known if the Rolex went missing from the actor’s room or whether or not Gandolfini was actually wearing the Rolex when he fell ill at the Boscolo Luxury Hotel Exedra.
— Page Six (@PageSix) May 18, 2016
As for Claudio’s whereabouts at the time, it’s said that he was rushing the star to the hospital when the Rolex went missing.
According to prosecutors, it’s said that the paramedic took the chaotic situation as an opportunity to steal James Gandolfini’s watch. In fact, two people from the hotel’s security noticed that the watch was missing and went on to report is as stolen, which was then reported by Gandolfini’s family.
Bevilacqua did not show up for the first hearing, and the hearing itself only lasted a few minutes. The judge on the case reportedly postponed the official start of the trial until November of 2016.
Michael Kobold was present at the hearing. Kobold is a friend of the Gandolfini’s and served as a spokesman for the family in Italy. Kobold gave an official statement to the New York Post.
“I never thought they would get this guy. I was representing [Gandolfini’s] family and all we knew at the time was that his Rolex was stolen. I left everything in the hands of the head of security at the US Embassy there in Italy, but we had our doubts.”
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) May 18, 2016
He continued, “At the end of the day it was just a watch, why spend so much time and energy on finding it, much less the guy who stole it? It goes to show you, the wheels of justice turn slowly sometimes. You never know what’s gonna happen. I’m just glad they got him. What he is accused of doing is about as low as someone can stoop in my mind, especially if you’re paid to be there as a paramedic. Have some decency. Do your job and get on with it.”
At the time of his death, Gandolfini was vacationing with his wife, Deborah Lin, and his son, Michael. He was scheduled to appear at a film festival in Sicily prior to his death. Gandolfini was able to visit the Vatican and traveled around Rome with his son before the family returned to the hotel. As reported, the Sopranos star was found on the bathroom floor by his then-14-year-old son.
After his death, Gandolfini was eulogized by many co-stars who worked with the actor over the years. One in particular was his TV wife Edie Falco at the 2013 Emmy Awards.
Holding back tears, Falco said, “If you needed anything at all, ever, Jim was there to take care of it before you even had a chance to ask. You all knew James Gandolfini the actor. I was lucky enough to know Jim the man for 10 years as his close colleague and his pretend life partner, and for many more years as his friend.”
[Photo by Sonia Recchia/Getty Images]