GANDOLFINI'S DOUBLE DESPAIR

Published on: July 27, 2005
GANDOLFINI'S DOUBLE DESPAIR

By ALEXANDER HITCHEN

Sopranos star James Gandolfini is battling a double heartache as he desperately tries to win back his former fiancée while fearing for the life of his ill father.

A close friend told The National Enquirer exclusively that the TV tough guy is going through an emotional whirlwind five months after ending his four-year romance with movie production assistant Lora Somoza.

Gandolfini, 43, is devastated that his 84-year-old dad, James Sr., is lying in a New York hospital bed battling a serious illness.

The close friend revealed: "People think James is a tough guy but tragedy is ripping him apart. He loves his father so much and to see him ill is crushing."

After Gandolfini's dad, a former janitor, went into hospital in late June, the actor said they talked about their love of baseball.

"The grin on his face reminded me of him before he was ill," said the star, a divorcee who has been treated for alcoholism.

The close friend said Gandolfini is actively working to win back his former lover Lora, who has also been seriously ill.

He added: "James wishes that he never ended his relationship with Lora. He realized he was still in love with her when she was hospitalized, first with a serious form of bronchitis and secondly when she was attacked by a dog. Then she almost died when a two-month session of antibiotics temporarily shut down her immune system. He inundated her with phone calls and sent flowers to her room."

Another source said: "He wishes Lora was back in his life. And those close to him hope he doesn't turn to drinking again because he's so emotionally distraught.

"It was his drinking that caused problems in his relationship with Lora. At the time, he had promised her he would stay sober but fell off the wagon."