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Julia Haart is finally telling her story. In both the Netflix series My Unorthodox Life and an upcoming memoir, the CEO of Elite World Group opens up about her 43 years spent in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Monsey, New York.
But she wasn't always so forthcoming. Speaking to Oprah Daily, Haart reveals that she only told her now-husband, 62-year-old Italian businessman Silvio Scaglia Haart, about her former life years into their relationship. (Silvio took his wife's last name when they were married in 2019).
"My husband knew me for probably two years before I told him one word about my past. Even after I told close friends, I never spoke about it. You'll see there's no press about it anywhere," she says, though that's changed since My Unorthodox Life premiered.
While Haart's relationship with Silvio is a central part of the show, it's rarely part of the plot. Simply put, not enough drama seems to happen between the happy couple to merit a reality TV storyline. Instead, Haart's marriage is a reliable fixture of her busy life. They coexist harmoniously as partners at home and in business—in 2019, Scaglia appointed Haart the co-owner and CEO of Elite World Group, a modeling and talent agency he acquired in 2011.
Speaking to Oprah Daily, Haart reflects on what makes their relationship work. "We are very independent, strong-willed people, and he loves my independence," she says.
She sees a contrast between her first and second marriages. She married her first husband, Yosef Hendler, when she was 19 in an arranged ceremony. They had four children together, all of whom are featured in the show. "Before, marriage was a prison," Haart says. "Now I realize that you can be married, you can love someone, and you can still have your own freedom and individuality, and I think that's beautiful. I love love."
Here's what you need to know about the Haarts' love story.
Silvio Scaglia Haart is an Italian tech entrepreneur.
My Unorthodox Life only briefly refers to Silvio's life before meeting Haart—but there's a story worth telling. Silvio is the founder of Fastweb, a telecommunications operator in Italy that provides internet and broadband services. According to Forbes, Silvio's net worth is over $1 billion.
For all his success, Silvio's career also hit snags. In 2010, Silvio was among 56 people arrested on charges of an alleged €2 billion, or $2.7 billion, tax fraud and money laundering scheme, per the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal reported that Silvio was accused of criminal conspiracy to commit tax fraud. He spent a year in prison and house arrest. His then-wife, Monica Aschei, published a letter to Italy's president on his behalf. Silvio was acquitted of tax fraud in 2013.
Haart and Silvio met in the offices of La Perla, a luxury lingerie company.
According to Women's Health, Haart and Silvio first met in 2013, when Haart's eponymous shoe brand collaborated with La Perla. Earlier that year, Silvio bought La Perla.
They met again in 2016, when Haart was hired to be La Perla's creative director. From then on, Haart and Silvio were officially colleagues. But their relationship wasn't always harmonious. As Haart told The New York Times, “He was the CEO [of La Perla]. So he was there a lot. The first year of our interaction was me yelling at him. I was horrible to him. But I had a lot of respect for him…and when I yelled at him, he took it like a man. That made me happy.”
Women's Health reports that Haart and Silvio developed a friendship based on mutual respect. "We became really good friends, and we would just take walks together and stuff," Haart said. Eventually, she said, the relationship "transitioned into something more."
Silvio's daughter Chiara is also a fashion executive.
Silvio and his ex-wife, Monica, had three children together. The oldest, Chiara, became La Perla's Asia-Pacific managing director at the age of 25. She held the position until 2017, and now works for Balmain in a similar role, per LinkedIn.
Living in Hong Kong, Chiara said she stays close with her faraway family. "My family and I are very close—I have a younger sister and brother, and I speak to my parents nearly every other day. They encourage me with what I’m doing, and yet they are also the first people to tell me to slow down if I’m traveling too much, not sleeping enough, making sure I’m eating and take care of myself," she told Tatler.
Chiara had a child recently, according to Silvio's Instagram. He dedicated a tribute to her on her birthday in 2021: "Nothing makes me happier than thinking about the beautiful, accomplished woman, and now mother, that you have become," he wrote.
The Haarts' wedding took place in 2019.
Silvio Scaglia and Julia Haart were married on June 22, 2019. On their one-year anniversary, Haart wrote on Instagram, "There is no one else I’d rather spend forever with. Happy 1 year anniversary to the love my life... I love you so so much." She previously called her wedding the "happiest day" of her life.
For a glimpse at the wedding—which featured Haart performing a choreographed dance number—check out the video on Haart's Instagram.
Silvio calls his wife a "force of nature."
Silvio frequently posts about his wife on his Instagram page. After the release of My Unorthodox Life, he wrote, "She is a Force of Nature. I am in awe of [Julia Haart]."
They live in a Tribeca penthouse.
In 2018, Silvio purchased a Manhattan penthouse for—wait for it—$55 million, reportedly setting a Tribeca sales record. Their home has five bedrooms, a solarium, a bar, a library, and 2,000-square-foot roof deck, per Street Easy.
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