Princess Stephanie of Monaco (born Monaco, 1 February 1965) is a
member of the princely family of Monaco. Princess Stephanie is the youngest
child of Grace, Princess of Monaco and Rainier III of Monaco, and the sister of
Albert II of Monaco and Princess Caroline. Stephanie has been a singer, swimwear
designer, and fashion model; her mother lovingly called the princess her "wild
Princess Stephanie was a passenger in the car in which her mother was killed in an accident on a mountain road on September 13, 1982. She was unable to attend her mother's funeral because she was in the hospital with injuries from the crash.
In 1983, after her physical recovery from the accident, Stephanie started an apprentice program at Christian Dior under the direction of head designer Marc Bohan, who had been a friend to Princess Grace. Having the princess on staff brought huge publicity to Dior. At the end of 1984 she debuted as a model on the biannual haute couture special published by Spanish magazine ¡Hola! (she repeated the assignment in 1990). Soon after, she graced the cover of German Vogue and the American edition of Vanity Fair in July 1985. She also became the face of the Swiss beauty line La Prairie, for which she was photographed by Horst, and she appeared on the cover of French Vogue, photographed by the late Helmut Newton, in September 1986.
Stephanie's work as a commercial model ended because of Prince Rainier's opposition a few months after it began. However, in September of the same year she launched a swimwear line, called 'Pool Position' with Alix de la Comble, whom she had met while an intern at Dior. The fashion show to present the line, held at the Sporting Club in Monaco, was a major event covered by the world's media. The front row included Prince Rainier and her siblings, Prince Albert and Princess Caroline. Pictures of the princess wearing the swimsuits to promote the line were reproduced on every magazine, from France to Brazil, from the U.S. to Japan. A year later, a second collection was presented again in Monte Carlo. Soon after, the business disintegrated when Stephanie decided to focus on her new creative endeavor - music. In 1989, the princess launched her own perfume "Stephanie" with very rich and warm smells, but that did not last for long either. Later in the mid-1990s, she had a Replay cafe and store in Monaco, after she became a kind of spokesperson for the brand. She also helped open the Replay Store and Cafe in Barcelona in 1997.
In late 2008 she agreed to guest edit the December 2008/January 2009 issue of French Vogue. She was featured on the cover and inside in a series of moody shots, dressed and heavily photoshopped to emphasise her boyish figure and features giving an androgynous twist to the pictures. She also did regal in a romantic and dramatic black corset evening gown.
In February 1986, Stephanie released her first single with the French label 'Carrere', under the production of Yves Roze. The song "Ouragan" ("Hurricane") and its English version "Irresistible" quickly reached the international Top 10, reportedly selling more than 5 million copies. In September, she released a full album called Besoin reportedly selling more than 2.5 million copies (also released as Stephanie in some countries) with eight new songs, including "Flash" (in French; its English version "One Love To Give"), which was released as a single and reached the hit parade all over Europe. In January 1987, she released the single "Young Ones Everywhere" to benefit UNICEF.
In 1987, Stephanie moved to Los Angeles to dedicate herself to music and live with her then-boyfriend, Mario Oliver. However, it took 5 years for the product to come out, and sales were disappointing, only 30,000 copies in the USA. The album had 10 songs, including the single 'Winds of Chance' for which the video clip was recorded in the Canary Islands. The producers tried to leave her Europop style behind and create a more grown-up album with English-only lyrics. Her first and only live tour took place in the summer of 1991 in Europe and South America to promote the album called Stephanie released in the U.S. by Sony Music. U.S. critics gave the album negative reviews and focused on her privileged background, which they felt discredited her efforts. She also recorded "In the Closet" with Michael Jackson under the alias of Mystery Girl for his album, Dangerous. She then ended her pop music career.
Since 1 February 1965 Her Serene Highness Princess Stephanie Marie Elisabeth of Monaco
Princess Stephanie is an international celebrity and her personal relationships have attracted a good deal of interest. Stephanie has always been attracted to tough active men, and indifferent to their social class or reputation, she often seems to have been drawn to "bad boys".
At 13, she had an affair with Spanish singer Miguel Bosé, and at 15 she became involved with Paul Belmondo, son of French film star Jean-Paul Belmondo. Another early boyfriend was Anthony Delon (son of actor Alain Delon) who was convicted of car theft and gun possession. There was a long affair with Mario Oliver Jutard in her early twenties. Jutard had previously been arraigned on rape charges and her father's disapproval was said to be one of the reasons why the couple lived in America. Later at 25 she was briefly engaged to Jean Yves Lefur who turned out to be a financial con man and served time for fraud and theft. Another early boyfriend was record producer Ron Bloom. Also, during this time, she had an affair with actor Rob Lowe. The affair ended, owing mostly to Lowe's inability to speak French.
In 1992, she embarked on an affair with her bodyguard Daniel Ducruet, which resulted in the birth of two children:
Stephanie married Ducruet on 1 July 1995 in Monaco. Though their children were born out of wedlock, Louis and Pauline are 7th and 8th in line to the throne of Monaco respectively, because they were legitimized by their parents' subsequent marriage; Monegasque law recognizes such children as members of a dynastic line.
However the marriage to Ducruet did not last after the publication of photographs of him cavorting poolside with Muriel Houtteman, the reigning "Miss Topless Belgium". Ducruet was banished from the Monegasque court. He was later awarded £20,000 damages in a French court which heard allegations that he had walked into a honey trap designed to disgrace him. The princess was awarded a "quickie" divorce on 4 October 1996. Stephanie has remained friendly with Ducruet and from time to time they are photographed on holiday with their children.
Princess Stephanie then embarked on a string of brief affairs including footballer Fabien Barthez and screen actor Jean-Claude Van Damme. Sixteen months after her marriage to Ducruet broke up, Stephanie was romantically linked with Jean Raymond Gottlieb, a former Paris gendarme and ski instructor who became her head of security.
Seven months after the liaison was first reported, Stephanie was four and a half months pregnant. On 15 July 1998 at Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace in Monte Carlo, Monaco, she gave birth to her third child, Camille Marie Kelly Grimaldi or Gottlieb, named in honour of Stephanie’s screen actress mother Grace.
When Stephanie became pregnant, it was reported Gottlieb was the father, but this has never been publicly confirmed or refuted because the princess refused to put the father’s name on the birth certificate. Ducruet, however, stated that the child was not his.
Her father ordered her to leave Monaco, and she went to Auron, the ski resort. While there she fell for a Corsican barman, Pierre Pinelli, and was even on occasion seen waiting on tables at his restaurant. But that romance was short-lived and over in 6 months.
Stephanie's penchant for low life friends and lovers made headlines in August 2000 when cocaine dealer Eskander Laribi was shot dead outside a Nice post office and his girlfriend, Virginie Tereberrou, arrived at the scene driving a Chevrolet belonging to the Princess, whose diplomatic immunity prevented her from becoming a potential witness in the subsequent trial.
In 2000, she embarked on a romance with leading Swiss circus owner and elephant trainer Franco Knie of Cirque Knie whom she first met in 1999 at the annual International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo where she presented him with the award for Best Animal Tamer. The affair became public in 2001 when Mr Knie, a sixth-generation circus performer, announced that he was leaving his wife, Claudine, for Stephanie. The princess spent several months touring Europe with the circus, living in his caravan with her children. Pauline loved the elephants so much that Mr Knie included her in one of his circus acts performing with an elephant.
Stephanie and Knie parted in 2002 and Stephanie was next reported to be having an affair with her father's butler, Richard Lucas, a married father of two. In 2003 she was linked to the palace's head gardener and briefly to Philippe Junot, her sister Caroline's ex-husband.
On 12 September 2003 in Vandœuvres, however, she allegedly married Adans Lopez Peres, a Portuguese-Spanish trapeze artist 10 years her junior and a fifth-generation performer, the eldest son of an acrobat-clown and a classically trained flamenco dancer and a member of Circus Knie.
On 22 July 2004, Germany's illustrated Bild newspaper reported that Stephanie had split from Peres, had contacted lawyers to obtain a divorce and was seeing Ducruet again. However, that autumn, Hello! magazine published photographs of the princess with a man the magazine identified as her new boyfriend, Franck Brasseur, a married croupier. Stephanie and Peres were divorced on 24 November 2004, without issue.
In February 2006, Hello! magazine reported that the 41 year old princess was dating a 27 year old barman called Matthieu with whom she had been on holiday to Thailand. On 12 July 2007 she was photographed attending a performance by Muse at the Louis II Stadium in Monaco with her current boyfriend, French actor and musician Merwan Rim.
Since 2005 Stephanie has become deeply involved in the fight against AIDS, becoming a UNAIDS ambassador. She has also created 'Fight Aids Monaco', her own foundation to support people living with HIV and at the same time combat the social stigma attached to the disease. In 2006, with a group of French singers, the princess took part in the recording of the song "L'or de nos Vies" in order to raise funds for the foundation.
This Princess Stephanie Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub