'Baby' Season 3 Preview: Italian show, loosely based on Baby Squillo scandal, depicts teen prostitution tale
While Angela's mother had decided to call the police trying to figure out how her daughter suddenly came into a lot of wealth, Agnese's mother encouraged her daughter to continue
Spoilers for 'Baby'
Netflix's 'Baby' first debuted in 2018. The series focuses on two young women, Chiara (Benedetta Porcaroli) and Ludovica aka Ludo (Alice Pagani) from the Paroli district of Rome, who begin working as sex workers. As part of a highschool where bullies are not lacking and nor was a social hierarchy, Chiara and Ludo become immersed in a life where sexuality didn't have a lid or a limit, and money came instantly.
The show has garnered a huge fan base since it premiered. From its soundtrack and dark-themed scenes to the actors' excellence in delivering this shocking tale, it was a hit. What is interesting is that while the show obviously made a name for itself, many have seemed to have forgotten the disturbing story it's loosely based on - the 'Baby Squillo' scandal of 2014. It is important to know that the creators have spoken about the series' resemblance to the actual real-time case, but made sure to mention that it is not explicitly based on the scandal. “The story of how a group of youths can embark on an adventure in the labyrinths of transgression, at times even getting lost," said Andrea De Sica, one of the directors of the series, according to Express. "We tried to be as faithful as possible to [the girls] conflicts and their choices. What you’ve seen is not a chronicle of real-life events." So, what was the Baby Squillo (baby prostitute) scandal?
In 2014, two young women studying in a high school in Rome, in the rich district of Parioli, found themselves in the middle of the unraveling of the prostitution ring. Across many reports and multiple publications, the story ran true to the events that were made public. Refinery29 reported that the girls, Angela and Agnese (fake names for their protection), had been part of the prostitution ring for "easy money". If you've watched the show, the older woman named Angela is portrayed by Chiara and the younger one Agnese is portrayed by Ludo, the daughter of a single mother. The publication further reported that the girls, who were looking for "easy money", met their pimps Mirko Leni and Nunzio Pizzacalla, an army official, online while following an ad they had come across on the Internet. If you remember in the series, Chiara and Ludo meet up in an apartment that had been set up for them - in real life, there was an apartment set up on Viale Paroli, where these underage girls would meet their clients after they finished their day at school. The publication revealed that in an interview, Angela had said, “I wanted a lot of money and I didn’t want to miss out on having on anything." Apparently the duo was making approximately 500-600 euros ($570-$680) a day minus the cut they had to give their pimps.
What most found horrid in the case was the involvement of one of the girl's parents. While Angela's mother had decided to call the police trying to figure out how her daughter suddenly came into a lot of wealth, Agnese's mother didn't divert her daughter away from the ring and encouraged her to continue. According to reports, she had also set a price of 300 euros per client for her daughter. Italian Insider revealed that Agnese's mother suffered for her involvement, of course, and was not only sentenced to prison for six years but was also "stripped of parental rights". This, however, was not completely portrayed in the series, as neither of the girl's mothers knows exactly what their daughters are doing after hours as per the end of Season 2. Who knows what Season 3 will bring us?
When police unraveled the underage prostitute ring, it was revealed that there were also government officials involved in the case. This of course became a media frenzy resulting in the Baby Squillo scandal. The publication reported that the 50 clients uncovered included "lawyers, politicians, UN staff members, bankers, butchers, and businessmen". Interestingly, even Mauro Floriani, the husband of Benito Mussolini's granddaughter, Italian senator Alessandra Mussolini, was also part of the 50 clientele list uncovered by the investigators. Further, Cosmopolitan reported that the clients were not kept in the dark that the girls were underage with Leni saying the fact that the girls were under 18, “was the real draw that helped lure customers”. Both pimps were sentenced to jail with Leni being given a decade and Pizzacalla being given seven years behind bars.
Catch the final season of 'Baby' on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, on Netflix.