James Gandolfini’s Rolex Watch Was Allegedly Stolen Off Him by Paramedic as He Lay Dying

James Gandolfini
James Gandolfini on November 26, 2012 in New York City Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Not even mobster Tony Soprano would stoop so low. James Gandolfinis Rolex watch was allegedly stolen off his wrist by a paramedic as he lay dying in a hotel in Rome, Italy, in June 2013. The Sopranos star suffered a sudden heart attack while he was on vacation with his family; after being taken to a local hospital, the Emmy-winning actor died at age 51.

Almost three years later, Claudio Bevilacqua went on trial on Monday, May 16, for supposedly swiping the actor’s $3,000 Rolex Submariner, NBC News reports. It has not yet been confirmed whether the timepiece went missing from Gandolfini’s Rome hotel room at the Boscolo Exedra Hotel, or whether he was wearing it when he collapsed, NBC says.

The paramedic was reportedly not present in court for the first hearing of the case, which lasted only a few minutes. The judge postponed the trial until November, according to NBC News.

The late actor was on the European trip with his wife, Deborah Lin, his teenage son, Michael, and daughter Liliana, now 3, ahead of a scheduled appearance at the Taormina Film Fest in Sicily. Gandolfini suffered the fatal heart attack just before 10 p.m. on June 19, 2013. Michael found his father collapsed in the bathroom and alerted hotel staff about the medical emergency. The Enough Said actor's autopsy later revealed that he died of natural causes from a heart attack and nothing further was found in his system.

Michael gave a touching tribute to his father in 2014 at a premiere at Toronto International Film Festival for the actor’s final film role in The Drop. “He didn’t want to be Tony Soprano; he wanted to go on and push himself more, try to get harder, get different,” he said. “I wanted the world and everyone just to know he was more than just an actor.” 

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