“From Saint To Whore” The Ingrid Bergman Cheating Scandal

Published on: June 27, 2014
Photography by: LAZLO WILLINGER/MoviePix/Getty Images and GORDON PARKS/Time-Life Pictures "STROMBOLI"
Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman, Stromboli

BANNED IN THE USA!

Hollywood legend CASABALANCA star INGRID BERGMAN was denounced in Congress as a “free-love cultist” when she abandoned her husband and kids to run off with an Italian playboy moviemaker. 

 

Long before cheating scandals played out daily in the political and show biz arenas, Hollywood icon Ingrid Bergman was condemned in not only the US Senate but from church pulpits around the world. 

 
When the world learned of her affair with ROBERTO ROSSELLINI, the acclaimed playboy movie director, Ingrid went “from saint to whore” in the eyes of her legion of fans.
 
Publicly, thanks to the Hollywood PR machine Ingrid was happily married to Dr. Peter Lindstrom and had a young daughter Pia.  But Ingrid was well known for her affairs with many of her leading men, directors and even studio photographer Robert Capa.
 
On the set of CASABLANCA, Humphrey Bogart’s then-wife Mayo Methot accused him of cheating with Ingrid while making the 1942 Warners classic.  Bogie denied her repeated charges, often violently as “The Battling Bogarts” waged war until their inevitable divorce.
 
In 1949, Italian playboy and director Roberto Rossellini won world-wide acclaim with his neo-realist shockers, “Open City” and “Paisan”.
 
Ingrid, who had played a nun in “the Bells of St. Mary’s”, penned a “fan” letter to Rossellini, offering her services as a multi-lingual thesp.
 
“If you need a Swedish actress who speaks English very well, who has not forgotten her German, who is not very understandable in French and who in Italian knows only “ti amo” (I love you), I am ready to come make a film with you,” Bergman wrote.
 
Rossellini immediately dropped the five women he was sleeping with including his star, the busty Anna Magnani
 
He fired Anna from his next production, “Stromboli”, promptly re-writing the juicy lead role for Ingrid. 
 
Initially, sparks flew between Ingrid and her new director, with Rossellini betting a pal he could bed Ingrid within two weeks. 
 
Evidently, he did as they soon became impassioned partners – making films AND babies.
Returning to the US in 1950, Ingrid was blindsided by gossip columnist Hedda Hopper who badgered her to confirm the rumors that she was three months pregnant.  Bergman denied it.
 
Days later, rival columnist Louella Parsons broke the story in the Hearst papers.
 
Hedda Hopper then jumped on the hate bandwagon “mean-girling” and “slut-shaming” Ingrid without mercy in her daily column.
 
All hell suddenly broke loose as a worldwide attack battered the newly-immoral screen goddess. 
 
Ingrid quickly fled to the safety of Italy - - and the bed of Roberto -- leaving hubby and daughter behind
 
On the floor of the U.S. Senate, Senator Edwin C. Johnson condemned the Swedish beauty as a “free-love cultist,” and "a horrible example of womanhood and a powerful influence for evil." 
 
“She was forbidden to enter the country,” Ingrid’s daughter, Pia Lindstrom later told Larry King. “There was a vote in Congress, where she was made persona non grata.
 
"It was incredibly difficult to see and observe a parent going from being a saint and a nun to being an evil harlot within a few months.”
 
Even Ingrid’s most liberal admirers turned on the “Joan of Arc" star.
 
Both she and Rossellini soon filed to dissolve their respective marriages.
 
In 1950, Ingrid gave birth to their son, Robertino the same month their other collaboration, “Stromboli”, was released internationally.  It was a bomb – banned and boycotted. 
 
Estranged hubby Lindstrom then sued Ingrid for desertion and a long custody battle ensued for their daughter, Pia. 
 
In 1952, Pia testified in court, “I don't love my mother.  I like her.  I don't want to go to Italy to be with her.”  
 
Meanwhile, Ingrid sweated out the court’s decision as she gave birth to twins, Isabella and Isotta.
 
Between 1950 and 1955, the sex leper duo made five more films, all of which flopped. A betrayed public was not ready to forgive their fallen star. 
 
Plagued by increasing financial troubles, Ingrid and Roberto’s marriage soon crumbled. 
 
After working in Paris for acclaimed director Jean Renoir, Ingrid returned to Hollywood, starring as “ANASTASIA,” the story of a princess searching for acceptance in a world that had abandoned her for dead. 
 
Both critics and fans returned en masse, as Ingrid won the Oscar for Best Actress.  The exquisite screen legend regained the love and admiration of the world – and had reunited with daughter Pia. 
 
Left to his own devices, Rossellini bedded screenwriter, Somali Das Gupta.  Their affair resulted in pregnancy, putting the final nail in his failing marriage to Ingrid. 
 
Years later, in 1972, after her career and rep had been restored and the entire affair a sad footnote to late night TV viewing, a formal apology to Ingrid Bergman was entered into the Congressional record.
 
“I’ve gone from saint to whore and back to saint, all in one lifetime,” Ingrid later said.
 
"I have no regrets. I wouldn't have lived my life the way I did if I was going to worry about what people were going to say."