Nancy Dell'Olio: 'I just want peace'

By Katie Taylor, October 7, 2010
Nancy Dell’Olio at the Magen David Adom fundraiser

Nancy Dell’Olio at the Magen David Adom fundraiser

Former international lawyer and glamorous charity fundraiser Nancy Dell'Olio was special guest at Magen David Adom's charity event this week.

She spoke to around 200 women at a gathering in Hampstead, dispelling myths about her "poor background" and talking about her charity work with organisations such as the British Red Cross, which works closely with MDA.

She also spoke of her attraction to Israel's "joy and spirit" but admitted that, despite her Jewish roots, she shies away from leading a religious life. Ms Dell'Olio said: "That is an individual choice and one that isn't for me.

"My mother is Jewish but rather than having Jewish beliefs, I am first and foremost concerned about peace in the region." Ms Dell'Olio, aged between 46 and 49, of which she wouldn't pinpoint, said: "I strongly believe that Jerusalem, one of my favourite places in Israel, should belong to the UN, creating a neutral place which belongs to everyone. I am proud of my Jewish roots, Jews carry a high spirituality and I believe it is up to us to create peace."

Asked about the infamous red catsuit she wore to Downing Street, Ms Dell'Olio, dressed in a more respectable white shirt and black leather trousers with thigh high black boots, replied: "I thought it was elegant and I didn't understand what the hype was about, I just thought it was funny that my outfit gave such a reaction."

She also chairs an organisation called Truce, which uses football as a means for peace between Israel and Palestine. The organisation placed its first football pitch in Jerusalem and also has one in Gaza.

The former girlfriend of the ex-England coach Sven Goran Eriksson added: "Football is an international language, which can promote peace."

Lorraine Grossmith, organising committee chairwoman, said: "Nancy delighted and charmed our audience and much needed funds were raised."

The event raised £10,000 for the Israeli emergency rescue service.

Last updated: 3:32pm, January 5 2011