Mattia Dessi, Brigitte Nielsen’s Husband: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Matti Dessi

Getty Nielsen and Dessi pictured together at the American Music Awards.

Actress Brigitte Nielsen is celebrating becoming pregnant with her fifth child at the age of 54. Nielsen broke the news on Instagram on May 30. This is the first child with her husband of 12 years, Italian national Mattia Dessi, 40. The former wife of Sylvester Stallone wrote on Instagram, “Family getting larger. #Me #Family #Brigittenielsen #babybump.” A follow-up post saw Nielsen write, “Happy time. Positive vibes. #Happyness. #Positivevibes.” Both posts showed Nielsen with a considerable baby bump. Her last post before that showed an old photo of her other children when they were younger.

Dessi became first known to the public as a participant on Strange Love in 2005, the VH1 reality show that demonstrated the turbulent romance between Nielsen and rapper Flavor Flav. At the end of the show’s run, Nielsen broke up with Flav and opted to be with Dessi.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. They Met While He Worked as a Waiter at Hotel in Switzerland

Mattia Dessi Facebook page

Facebook/Mattia Dessi

Dessi and Nielsen first met when he worked as a waiter in a hotel in Switzerland in 2004. An Italian news report at the time said that they met in the city of Lugano. By 2006, the couple was married. People Magazine reported at the time of their engagement in 2005, that Dessi was 26 and Nielsen was 41. The article noted that the couple planned to get married in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The problem they faced was that Nielsen was still married to her fourth husband, racing driver Raoul Meyer.

Nielsen eventually married Dessi in Malta in June 2006. Her manager told People Magazine that Nielsen was “pretty excited. She is like a little child. She is pretty happy.”

2. Nielsen Has Said that Despite the Age Difference, Her Husband Is More Mature Than Her

In a 2011 interview with the Guardian, Nielsen was open about her turbulent love life saying, “I still believe in marriage and I have believed in all my marriages, although maybe not the one with Sylvester Stallone as I was really pressured to marry him.” Nielsen added that despite the age difference between her and Dessi, he is more mature than her. Nielsen said, “My current husband, Mattia Dessi, is 15 years younger than me and I’m really happy now. He’s probably more mature than me mentally, but physically we’re not the same and I do wonder if he will love me when I am 60 and he is 45.”

When asked about the age difference by Corriere Alpi in Italy, Dessi said, “Today, the relationships between mature women and young men are very frequent, and the important thing is that there is an understanding of interests and they are good with each other.” Dessi also spoke about the strange experience it was to be a celebrity all of a sudden, citing an incident where he was stopped at the airport in New York City and asked for an autograph.

3. In an Appearance on a Reality TV Show, Nielsen Admitted to Having Sex With Dessi on a Couch Shortly After They Met

Brigitte Nielsen Mettia Dessi


Nielsen admitted in an interview during an appearance on a European reality game show that she and Dessi had sex on a couch shortly after they first met.

When asked what she thought when she first laid eyes on him, Nielsen said, “He was sitting in front of me and I thought, ‘Oh my God: he’s so pretty’ The eyes, his smile But he looks like a boy He was 25 years old and I was 40… Then we made an appointment in his apartment and we did everything, immediately, all night. Everything, everything, it was so wonderful and he was so sweet, but I always thought: he’s too young and now we’re twelve years together, and old age has nothing to do with it. No one ever loved me as much as Mattia, it’s so honest, because he does not love Brigitte Nielsen, he loves Gitte, I’m so happy, I could cry.”

While Dessi was asked what he thought of Nielsen revealing so much about their sex life. He replied, “Yes, it was a bit quick now that she gets out of it happy that she is happy with our sex life but now she has told everybody. Well, if one person is allowed to talk about sex, it’s Brigitte.”

In a 2008 interview with the Daily Star, Nielsen said that she fell in love with Dessi right away but that it took him two months to fall in love with the Rocky IV actress. Nielsen added, “He’s 15 years younger than me and delicious. I’m so jealous, I’m madly possessive. I get very bitchy to Mattia. Instead of letting the women know, I take it out on him. It’s weird because in my entire life till now I’ve never been the jealous type. I don’t recognize myself.”

4. Dessi Stopped Nielsen’s Infamous Drinking

Brigitte Nielsen husband


Nielsen has battled alcoholism for most of her public life. In 2007, she checked into rehab in North Hollywood after what was reported as a family intervention. A year later she appeared on VH1’s Celebritiy Rehab, after that appearance, producer John Irwin told TV Guide, “She’s sober, and she quit smoking. She’s doing crazy good.” In an interview with Italian magazine Chi, Nielsen credited Dessi with keeping her sober, “God has sent it to me … I stop stirring a drop of alcohol. Unfortunately, I smoke three cigarettes a day, which is why Mattia reprimands me a lot.” While in her biography, “In Live, Nothing Is Given to You,” Nielsen wrote, “Through Mattia’s love, I’m stronger today than ever before and I’m finally looking forward to the future. A future that certainly still has a lot of great things in store for me!”

5. The Couple Lives Quietly in Palm Springs

Brigitte Nielsen Mattia Dessi


Records show that Nielsen and Dessi live the quiet life in Palm Springs these days. In 2017, Variety reported that Nielsen had sole hder Hollywood Hills mansion for $1.2 million having bought it in 2011 for $600,000.