GOODBYE, GANDOLFINI

Published on: February 3, 2005

"Sopranos"star James Gandolfini's long-suffering fiancee has whacked the couple's wedding plans. Lora Somoza tells The ENQUIRER in an exclusive interview that she has moved out of the HBO mobster's New York City loft, and has gone home to Los Angeles to care for her Alzheimer's-stricken grandmother. "Love does not always conquer all," said Somoza, a movie production assistant. "Jim is a great guy, but we are no longer together. I have moved to California so I can be close to my grandmother. She has Alzheimer's and needs plenty of care.

FOREVER FRIENDS

"I will always remain friends with Jim. Right now, there are other things in my life that I have to deal with." But sources say there is more to the split than that - the couple's wedding was already postponed once because of the actor's substance abuse problems and his cozy relationship with his ex-wife Marcy. "It is often difficult to get married soon after a divorce," said a friend of the couple. "That's what has happened to Lora and James." Somoza confirmed the 13-month engagement was over after reports placed Gandolfini with a stunning Asian woman during a pre- Golden Globes bash at the Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles. Asked who his mystery date was, he replied jokingly, "This is my mudda." He later caused tongues to wag when he reportedly swapped numbers with actress Jacqueline Bisset. When contacted by The ENQUIRER, Gandolfini's manager insisted that the actor is not involved with either woman. "He's not dating Jacqueline Bisset," the manager said."They just had a conversation. The Asian woman is an old friend." Gandolfini's four-year romance with Somoza has been shaky for some time, however. As The ENQUIRER reported in February 2004, a friend said Somoza accepted the TV don's marriage proposal, only after he promised to stay sober. In May 2004, we told readers that their summer wedding was off because he had fallen off the wagon. And we revealed that the romance took another hit in September because Gandolfini was getting friendly with ex-wife Marcy, the mother of his son Michael, 5.

DIFFERENT LIVES

Somoza, who does fund-raising for Alzheimer's did not address those issues, but she told The ENQUIRER: "There are some people who are meant to be together and some who are not. "That is how it is for Jim and me. He is filming for a whole year and I have to concentrate on helping my family. "Jim and I realized we were living different lives. There was no vicious bustup. Of course there were tears, but we are still friends."