Who was Benito Mussolini's mistress?
Clara Petacci, known as Claretta Petacci (1912 – 1945), was a mistress of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, and was executed with him by partisans.
Clara Petacci's father was Dr. Francesco Petacci, primary physician of Pope Pius XI. In 1940, Mussolini took his country into World War II on the side of Nazi Germany but soon was met with military failure.
In April 1945, with the Allies breaking through the last German defences in northern Italy and a general uprising of the partisans taking hold in the cities, Mussolini's situation became untenable.
Mussolini and Petacci were captured on 27 April by local partisans near the village of Dongo on Lake Como. Mussolini and Petacci were shot the following afternoon, two days before Adolf Hitler's suicide.
The bodies of Mussolini and Petacci were taken to Milan and left in a suburban square, the Piazzale Loreto, for a large angry crowd to insult and abuse. They were then hung upside down from a metal girder above a service station on the square. The bodies were beaten, shot at, and hit with hammers.
Petacci had a long-standing relationship with Mussolini while he was married to Rachele Mussolini. Petacci was 28 years younger than Mussolini. Part of their correspondence is still the subject of a dispute with the National Archives, based on privacy.