The 88-year-old Italian actress appeared at the trial of Javier Rigau y Rafols, a businessman who Lollobrigida alleges attempted to swindle her out of her fortune using a fake marriage ceremony, at a court in Rome on Monday (01Feb16).

After beginning a romance, the couple began planning a wedding in 2006, but Lollobrigida insists she later had a change of heart, called off the nuptials, and ended the relationship.

It is alleged that in 2010 Rigau y Rafols arranged a wedding service in Spain involving a stand-in for his former partner, before duping the actress into signing documents authorising the marriage under Italian law.

Editors at British newspaper The Daily Telegraph report the Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell star told court officials her relationship with her 54-year-old former beau was never sexual.

"Even when we went travelling we slept in separate rooms and we never had intimate relations," she said. "I never once went to his house in Barcelona. He came here (to Rome) a few times to have dinner."

When asked by a lawyer why she had become close to the accused, Lollobrigida claimed personal problems had clouded her judgement.

"It was a bad time in my life," she said. "I thought I could make a clean start and marriage seemed a good thing to do. But we were strangers to each other - we saw each other only on public occasions. With time I realised that it was the wrong path to follow."

Rigau y Rafols denies attempting to defraud the veteran star, claiming she willingly consented to the marriage but wanted to keep it quiet to avoid publicity. The case continues.