Anne Hathaway was only 21 when she fell for Raffaello Follieri. They were a picture-perfect couple until she abruptly dumped the Italian businessman shortly before he was collared for defrauding investors of millions.
Follieri subsequently pleaded guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud and money-laundering charges in September 2008 and spent four years in a federal prison. Now that he's been released and deported back to Italy, the con man's opening up for the first time about his ill-fated relationship with the Oscar nominee.
"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."
The entrepreneur, who was known to spend lavishly on the actress, treating her to expensive getaways, opulent dinners and even jewelry, revealed that Hathaway was completely in the dark about his shady business practices when they were going out.
"I don't think she knew anything because we didn't have a business conversation," he added. "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."
Follieri also revealed that at the height of their love affair, the two frequently discussed getting hitched.
"We talked about that several times," he confessed. "I think when somebody spends four and a half years without another person means that—it was something that was working for us… but life goes in different direction that we cannot control."
Alas, some bad decisions on Follieri's part doomed the relationship. The feds busted the Italian for lying about his ties to the Vatican in order to purchase church properties well below their going rate so he could flip them and make a quick profit. He also illegally funneled up to $6 million from investors to pay for his extravagant lifestyle with Hathaway.
While the 29-year-old actress has since moved on, Follieri is starting to do the same, noting that he hasn't communicated with her at all since his bust. However, he has nothing but "positive" recollections of their years together.
"I'm not trying to clear my name," he said. "I'm just try to go on and live my life."
Follieri's full interview airs tonight on Nightline. No word if he plans on seeing his ex next month play Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises.