Sylvia Kristel, an erotic myth ten years after her death and 48 after Emmanuelle

This October 18 marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Sylvia Kristelone of the greatest erotic myths in the history of cinema after starring in Emmanuelle in 1974. I interviewed her in 2006, when she came to Madrid to present her autobiography, and she told me that more than 600 million people had seen that film in which her naked body aroused real passions, but that the scenes of oral sex and orgasms “were faked.” We talked about her childhood, which she described as “hellish”, marked by an alcoholic father and a mother who hated sex, and the puritanism that prevailed in her native Utrecht.

She also recalled one of the most dramatic episodes of her life: “I was raped by a tenant of the hotel my parents ran. I was an innocent nine-year-old girl and that traumatized me forever. Then, at fourteen, my father abandoned us and left with her lover.

The trauma led him to seek a father figure throughout his life, maintaining relationships with older men. Her first husband, Hugo Claus, was twenty-seven years her senior. And it was this man, a screenwriter with a certain fame, who convinced her to appear for the casting of Emmanuelle. Hugo thought that, despite the highly erotic scenes, the film would go unnoticed. But it was the opposite, the success was worldwide. She accepted the role because she was convinced that the film would be censored. How wrong was she.

It was the year 1974 and in Francoist Spain any nude tape did suffer the rigors of the censor on duty. For this reason, ordinary Spaniards formed queues at the cinemas in the French town of Perpignan, on the border with our country, to enjoy the charms of a woman who was already a sexual icon and, in Japan, a mass myth.

He tried the Hollywood adventure with little success. Bad company pushed her into a world where alcohol and cocaine ruled, and she hit rock bottom. And with it the vital and professional failure. He had high-profile romances with actors like Gerard Depardieu, Roger Vadim, Ian McShane o Warren Beauty. Ironically, the latter abandoned her because he felt she was too much like her sister, Shirley McLane.

Back in Europe, he decided to venture into the world of painting and found emotional peace with the producer Freedy de Vriedeceased in 2004.

Two years later, as I have told, we met in the capital of Madrid, in a hotel in the town of Pozuelo de Alarcón. He retained some of the beauty of yesteryear and spoke with a melodious and warm voice. She didn’t notice the drama of the evil that was consuming her inside of her. Five years earlier she had been diagnosed with throat cancer that was metastatic. Her strength seemed incredible, but her illness overcame her will to live. Sylvia revealed to me that the pain was sometimes “unbearable”, but she hoped to recover. “I don’t want to leave this world so young, I still have a lot of lost time to make up for.” She barely fulfilled her wish for less than six years. On June 12, 2012, she suffered a stroke and four months later, on October 18, she died at the age of sixty, a victim of throat, lung, and esophageal cancer.

left a son, Arthur Clausand a little sister, Mariannewho he adored. They say the curse of Emmanuelle It haunted him all his life. Despite everything, today it remains the erotic myth of an entire generation.