Long before Adam Shulman entered the picture, Anne Hathaway thought she'd found her happily ever after with Raffaello Follieri. As it turned out, dating a conman was anything but a fairytale.
Follieri, an Italian businessman, was convicted in 2008 for defrauding investors out of millions of dollars. Though they broke up before his sentencing, Follieri tells ABC's Nightline that he's "happy" for his ex-girlfriend's recent engagement to actor Shulman, 31.
"I want only the best for this person," Follieri said. "She was very sweet to me. We had, I think, a very nice relationship. I don't have anything bad to say."
(In a 2010 Vogue interview, Hathaway, 29, briefly addressed Follieri's betrayal, saying: "I hate talking about the breakup, because I don't want it to define me, but as is to be expected, there were a lot of lingering trust issues.")
According to Follieri, 33, the two were so serious that they once considered getting married themselves. "We talked about that several times," he said on Nightline. "I think when somebody spends four and a half years with another person means that — it was something that was working for us. . . but life goes in different direction that we cannot control."
Follieri said Hathaway knew nothing of his shady business deals while they were dating. "I don't think she knew anything because we didn't have a business conversation," he said. "I was discussing the business and what — in general, but not anything specific. . . I didn't have, believe me, any thought that something would go wrong."
After pleading guilty to 14 counts of conspiracy, money laundering and wire fraud, Follieri spent nearly five years in a Pennsylvania person; he was later deported back to Italy. "I'm not trying to clear my name," he insisted. "I'm just trying to go on and live my life."
"When you are 25 years old and you have a company growing very fast, you get carried away in situation," he continued. "At the time, my life was pretty good. I had a girl that I love. My business was going well. . .I thought that was the American dream. But it was not so long later that everything fall apart."
Dating since 2008, Hathaway and Shulman are set to tie the knot in October 2013.
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