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Monday, January 17, 2011

Who is Countess Francesca McKnight Donatella Romana Gregorini di Savignano di Romagna?

Who is Francesca Gregorini (Countess Francesca McKnight Donatella Romana Gregorini di Savignano di Romagna? The music and entertainment world knows her as Francesca Gregorini , is an Italian-American singer and songwriter and film director.


Gregorini born in Rome, Italy, August 7, 1968 in Rome, Italy, she is the daughter of former Bond girl Barbara Bach and businessman Count Augusto Gregorini. Francesca was born and raised until the age of 8 in Rome Italy. There she lived in a huge four-story converted church, and attended the Sacred Heart School run by nuns.
In 1976, her parents divorced after 10 years of marriage. Barbara moved to the United States while Augusto remained in Italy, both of them managed to arranged custody of Francesca and her younger brother Gianni.
Francesca attended public school in Los Angeles. She remembers: "It was awful. I was this all-Italian child and I hardly spoke English. I felt as if I'd landed on another planet. I'd left a gorgeous school and ended up in a public school in Los Angeles. I was getting into fistfights and being bullied. It was a nightmare. That's when my shyness kicked in. I started to feel isolated and alone."[1].
In 1980, Barbara met and fell in love with The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr on the set of the movie, "Caveman". In December of that same year, while her mother and Starr were away on a holiday, Francesca called them to inform them that Ringo's former bandmate, John Lennon, was killed in New York City. Bach and Starr went straight to New York to console with Yoko Ono and her son, Sean Lennon.
On April 27, 1981, Starr and Bach were married. Francesca and Starr's daughter from a previous marriage, Lee Starkey, served as bridesmaids.

Teen age

The first ten years of Starr and Bach's marriage - a decade of drugs and drink - left the troubled teenager feeling isolated and abandoned. Much of this time was spent in Britain on 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land near Ascot which, she says, gave her 'a lifelong love of the English countryside'.
Francesca continued on with school (day/boarding school in Surrey, England). "When I was living with them, it was their drugs heyday. I had other friends who were rocks stars and their houses were used for parties morning, noon and night. With Rich and Mum it was different. They were very much in love and they wanted nothing to do with anybody else. When Mum met Rich, I lost her in a way. But their troubles made me a better academic. I studied all the time. I was always hidden away in a room reading because Mum and Dad were out of it. I think Mum and Rich made an effort to be awake when we got home.Seeing the drugs up close had the opposite effect on me: I rebelled against them at first. The house had a recording studio and that was my refuge."[2].
She attended Brown University, a prestigious college in Rhode Island, to study film and in 1990 she graduated of Theater Arts and Semiotics: "It was so strange leaving England and going to America. Again, it was music which held me together. I played in various bands, and I enjoyed it. I had a release for my frustrations."[3].
Throughout her twenties, she battled her own drug demons: "At Brown, I had my fair share of drugs and alcohol. I experimented. But there was always something in my brain which contained it. When I came to LA, I carried on doing drugs. I lost a lot of my twenties to drugs in the same way Rich and Mum lost years."[4].

Relationship with Portia de Rossi

Gregorini is an out lesbian. She once stated "I was a tomboy until I was 18. I had boyfriends, but I never understood the whole hoopla about sex. I could take it or leave it. I never quite figured out the virtues of "The D". Then, when I discovered girls, I was like 'Aha, now I get it!'. I was 19 years old. I knew I was a lesbian. I'm ready to be a homebody and be a parent".[5]
From late 2001 to December 2004 she dated Australian actress Portia de Rossi (born Amanda Lee Rogers). They got engaged in 2003, but their relationship ended in late 2004.

Music and cinema

Gregorini now lives in Los Angeles. She contributed two songs for See Jane Run (2001, in which she also had a small acting role): "Game Show Host" and "I Don't Need Anybody".
She worked as a musician with her first CD “Sequel” (2003, Ptolomea Records), where she sang, played the guitar and the bass. Moby collaborated on "Sugar Sex" (trk. 11 on the record "sequel"), and Sarah Thorp (SJR writer - director) directed Francesca's latest video, "My Flight".
Francesca and Tatiana von Furstenberg, co-wrote and co- directed the independent film Tanner Hall, a coming of age story set in an all girls boarding school in Rhode Island, which is loosely based on their own experiences during adolescence. “Naturally there are some autobiographical elements, combined with things weʹd witness in boarding school, and many other parts that we made up completely. You will certainly find characteristics of both of us in each of the 4 main girls and if you spend even a half hour with us, it will be very apparent to you, which girls are most like me and which ones are most like Tatiana”, said Gregorini in an interview[6].
She is writing the pilot episode of "Motel Novella" with Joe and Anthony Russo who also will develop the one-hour series for HBO.

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