Brigitte Nielsen

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Brigitte Nielsen
Brigitte Nielsen.jpg
Brigitte Nielsen at London Fashion Week in September 2010
BornGitte Nielsen
(1963-07-15) 15 July 1963 (age 51)
Rødovre, Copenhagen, Denmark
Years active1984–present
Spouse(s)Kasper Winding (1983–1984)
Sylvester Stallone (1985–1987)
Sebastian Copeland (1990–1992)
Raoul Meyer (1993–2005)
Mattia Dessi (2006–present)
Partner(s)Mark Gastineau (1988–1990)
Flavor Flav (2005)
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For the Swedish dramatic soprano, see Birgit Nilsson.
Brigitte Nielsen
Brigitte Nielsen.jpg
Brigitte Nielsen at London Fashion Week in September 2010
BornGitte Nielsen
(1963-07-15) 15 July 1963 (age 51)
Rødovre, Copenhagen, Denmark
Years active1984–present
Spouse(s)Kasper Winding (1983–1984)
Sylvester Stallone (1985–1987)
Sebastian Copeland (1990–1992)
Raoul Meyer (1993–2005)
Mattia Dessi (2006–present)
Partner(s)Mark Gastineau (1988–1990)
Flavor Flav (2005)

Brigitte Nielsen (born Gitte Nielsen; 15 July 1963 in Copenhagen) is a Danish actress, model, singer, and reality television personality who began her career modelling for Greg Gorman and Helmut Newton and several years later acted in the 1985 films Red Sonja and Rocky IV. She is also known for her marriage to Sly Stallone, with whom she starred in the 1986 film Cobra. She played Karla Fry on Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), co-starring Eddie Murphy, and played the Dark Witch in the Italian TV Series Cave of the Golden Rose between 1992–1996. She appeared also in Michael Jackson's "Liberian Girl" and Austrian Rock Star Falco's "Body Next To Body" music videos.

Her exploits were well-covered in the entertainment media in the 1980s, and the world press started referring to her as an "Amazon"[1][2][3] because of her tall stature.

She later built a career appearing in B-movies, and in the 2000s, for appearing on reality shows such as Flavor of Love. In 2008, she appeared on the reality show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which depicted her and several other celebrities dealing with recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

She released several albums between 1987–2002 (Every Body Tells a Story, I'm the One... Nobody Else and more singles). Recently, she performed (as Gitte Nielsen) on the song Misery with Spleen United, from the album School of Euphoria (2012).

Early life[edit]

Nielsen was born Gitte Nielsen in Rødovre, a suburb of Copenhagen, Denmark, the daughter of Hanne, a librarian, and Svend Nielsen, an engineer.[4] She has a brother, Jan.


At the beginning of the 1980s, Nielsen did some modeling work, and was photographed by Greg Gorman[5] and Helmut Newton.[6] In 1985, Nielsen began her acting career in Red Sonja alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the same year, she met and married Sylvester Stallone; the couple acted in two movies together (Rocky IV and Cobra) before divorcing in 1987. Their marriage and divorce were both highly publicized by the tabloid press.[7][8][9] She posed for Playboy magazine multiple times, garnering the cover in December 1987.[10][11] She played also "Karla Fry" in the movie Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), alongside Eddie Murphy. Nielsen started a music career in 1987. She released her debut album Every Body Tells a Story in that year and recorded a duet with Austrian pop star Falco, Giorgio Moroder's penned "Body Next to Body" which went to #22 in Germany and #6 in Austria.[12] In 1990, she recorded a single called "Rockin' Like a Radio".[citation needed] She released a follow-up album, I'm the One... Nobody Else, in 1991. In 2000, she recorded the dance track "No More Turning Back" under the pseudonym of Gitta and reached #1 in Spain and topped several other European dance charts. Other tracks recorded as Gitta were 2001's "Tic Toc" and 2002's "You're No Lady", a collaboration with Ru Paul.[citation needed] In 2012, she performed (as Gitte Nielsen) on the song Misery with Spleen United, from the album School of Euphoria.

In the late 1980s, Marvel Comics approached Nielsen to pose for photographs dressed as the comic book character She-Hulk.[13] Subsequently, she starred in 976-Evil II, The Double 0 Kid (1992), Chained Heat II (1993), Galaxis (1995), and Snowboard Academy (1996). In 1989, she appeared in Michael Jackson's "Liberian Girl" music video. In 2000, she appeared in heavy metal band Korn's music video for the single "Make Me Bad".[citation needed] She has worked for Italian television, hosting shows such as: Festival (1987), the 1992 edition of the Sanremo Music Festival, Retromarsh! (1996–1997), and sai l'ultima? (1999); starring in the TV movie Fantaghirò 2 and its sequels (1992–1996); and guest starring in the Rai Tre's soap opera Un posto al sole (2000).[citation needed] In 1997, she hosted a talk show series called Gittes venner for a Danish TV network and some TV shows for RTSI, the Swiss television in the Italian language.[citation needed] On 28 August 2008, German record label Edel Music re-released her 1991 album I'm the One... Nobody Else and the 1987 Every Body Tells a Story under the title Brigitte Nielsen.[14]

On 27 October 2009, she published her first auto-biography in Scandinavia titled: "Gitte Nielsen – Du har kun ét liv – sådan fandt jeg tilbage til mig selv" (translation: "You only have one life – this is how I found myself again.").[15] The book reached the Top5 of Denmark's bestseller list.[16] The book has been released in the United Kingdom under the title You only get one life in May 2011.[17] In April 2011, she attended the British variety/talent show Sing If You Can, which aired on ITV.[18] In November 2010, she guest starred for one episode in the German TV series SOKO: Stuttgart, aired by ZDF on 28 March 2011.[19] She guest-hosted the British chat show Loose Women on 7 December 2010, and voice acted for the Danish animated comedy film Ronal the Barbarian.[20] She played in horror movie Eldorado (2012), co-starred Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen and Kerry Washington. In April 2013 she's featured in the shortmove The Key alongside Ray Stevenson and directed by Mayk Azzato. The short art film is produced by Jaguar. In 2014, she starred in the science-fiction film Exodus.[21] and she starred in TV Series Raising Hope. She starred also in the action film Mercenaries (aka Prison Raid) (2014), alongside Cynthia Rothrock, Vivica A. Fox, and Kristanna Loken.

Reality TV[edit]

Nielsen in February 2012 in Vienna, Austria

Nielsen appeared on the first season of the Italian production of The Mole (2004) and on the third season of the VH1 reality show The Surreal Life (2004). Nielsen also appeared with Flav on VH1's Big in '04 Awards.[citation needed] In 2006, she guest-starred on Flav's other reality show, Flavor of Love.[citation needed] In 2003, Nielsen appeared in the Danish Big Brother VIP. In January 2005, she was a contestant in Britain's Celebrity Big Brother, along with her former mother-in-law, Jackie Stallone. Nielsen came third in the final public vote. In 2006, she appeared in another reality TV series, VH1's The Surreal Life: Fame Games. In March 2007, she starred in a new British mockumentary called Killing Brigitte Nielsen, which aired on Sky Travel.[citation needed] She also appeared in the first season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which chronicled her struggle to overcome her alcoholism at the Pasadena Recovery Center in Pasadena, California.[citation needed]

In May 2008, she revealed on German television that she would "renew" her body by having six plastic surgeries, which would cost €66,000 altogether. Nielsen was filmed during those surgeries by RTL and she had her own television show "Aus alt mach neu – Brigitte Nielsen in der Promi-Beauty-Klinik"(Make do and mend – Brigitte Nielsen in the celebrity beauty hospital). The same show was broadcast twice in Italy: at first under the title Celebrity Makeover: Brigitte Nielsen on SKY Italia in December 2008 and secondly in 2009 on Italia 1.[22] In 2009, Nielsen appeared as a panel speaker to a new group of addicts at the Pasadena Recovery Center, anticipating the two-year mark of her sobriety that coming July. Her appearance was aired in the third season episode "Triggers", which aired in February 2010.[23]

In January 2010, Nielsen appeared as one of the celebrity contestants of the French reality show TF1's La Ferme Célébrités, the French version of the TV series The Farm. She was eliminated after one week, mainly due to her lack of fluency in French and subsequent difficulties to interact with the other contestants.[24][25] Nielsen was one of the celebrity contestants of 2010's Let's Dance, the German version of Dancing with the Stars.[26] In 2010, she took part of Celebrity Come Dine With Me in Denmark (Til middag hos... ),[27] and in Germany (Das Perfekte Promi Dinner).[28]

From 13 January 2012 Nielsen was one of the celebrity contestants and winner of Ich bin ein Star – Holt mich hier raus!, the German version of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, broadcast by RTL Television.[29] On 28 January 2012 she won the show as the Jungle Queen. The German Bildzeitung revealed on 30 January 2012 that Nielsen had received the most calls from TV viewers throughout the entire show, ranking No.1 with 30 – 50% of all call-ins.[30]

In October 2012, Nielsen was featured in the Danish version of Maestro broadcast on DR1 in which celebrities competed for the chance to conduct a classical orchestra.

In September 2013 she joined the cast of the German TV show Promi-Hochzeitsplanern (Celebrity Wedding planners) for Sat.1.

Personal life[edit]

Family and relationships[edit]

Nielsen has been married five times and has four sons. She has a son, Julian Winding (born in 1984), with her first husband, Kasper Winding, to whom she was married from 1983–84.[citation needed]

Brigitte Nielsen with Sylvester Stallone, Ronald and Nancy Reagan at the White House, 1985

Nielsen married actor Sylvester Stallone, on 15 December 1985 at the Beverly Hills, California home of producer Irwin Winkler.[31] Stallone and Nielsen's marriage lasted 19 months, with their divorce finalized July 1987.[32] She later confessed to an affair with Tony Scott.[7][9][33]

Her second child, Killian Marcus Nielsen (born in 1989), she had with ex-fiance Mark Gastineau. Between 1990 and 1992, she was married to director and photographer Sebastian Copeland (Orlando Bloom's cousin). Nielsen has two sons with fourth husband Raoul Meyer, Douglas Aaron (born in 1993) and Raoul, Jr. (born in 1995).[citation needed] In 2005, Nielsen had a highly publicized relationship with rapper Flavor Flav. The relationship was filmed on their reality show Strange Love.[citation needed] Her current husband, Mattia Dessi lived with her in Italy as shown on Strange Love, which was filmed prior to their marriage. They live in Palm Springs.[which?][34]

In the aftermath of Arnold Schwarzenegger's infidelity scandal, Nielsen came forward and confessed that she too had an affair with Schwarzenegger while he was in a relationship with Maria Shriver,[35] saying, "Maybe I wouldn't have got into it if he said 'I'm going to marry Maria' and this is dead serious, but he didn't, and our affair carried on."[35] In January 2012, during an interview on the German Reality TV-Show Ich bin ein Star – Holt mich hier raus!, she confessed once having an one-night stand with Sean Penn in Cannes.[36]

She is also the ex-sister-in-law of Drive director, Nicolas Winding Refn.

Alcohol problems[edit]

On 9 July 2007, Nielsen checked herself into the Cri-Help rehabilitation facility in North Hollywood following what some reports claim was a family intervention.[37] Her manager, Steven Tempone, confirmed on 19 July 2007 that she had checked into rehabilitation and told the Associated Press "All I know is it's something she did of her own free will and we're proud of her and wish her very well...When she gets out we'll have a big birthday party, and Coca-Cola only".[38]

As of 22 July 2007, Nielsen was out of rehabilitation to attend the Comedy Central roast of Flavor Flav. She told People that she felt "like a new-born person ... I made a choice about a new life. It's not been easy but it was definitely time." While People does not report the date that Nielsen checked into rehabilitation, it states she "had been in treatment for a few weeks".[39] On 10 January 2008, VH1 began airing the reality TV series, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Nielsen appeared on the show for alcoholism.[40] In a January 2010 TV Guide story on her success with sobriety, Celebrity Rehab producer John Irwin stated, "She's sober, and she quit smoking. She's doing crazy good."[34]

Plastic surgery[edit]

In mid-2008, Nielsen starred in the reality show Aus alt mach neu, broadcast by the German TV-station RTL. The theme of the show was Nielsen's attempt to look "as young as her husband" by undergoing plastic surgery. The show was aired in Italy as well, on SKY Italia during December 2008[41] and the following summer on Italia 1.[42]


Besides her native Danish, Nielsen is fluent in Swedish, Norwegian, English, German and Italian,[43] and has some understanding of French.[25]



1985Red SonjaRed Sonja
1985Rocky IVLudmilla Vobet Drago
1987Beverly Hills Cop IIKarla Fry
1988Bye Bye BabyLisa
1989Murder by MoonlightMaggie Bartok
1992976-Evil IIAgnes
1992Double 0 Kid, TheThe Double 0 KidRhonda
1992Mission of JusticeDr. Rachel K. Larkin
1992Fantaghirò 2Dark witch
1993Fantaghirò 3Dark witch
1993Chained Heat IIMagda Kassar
1994Fantaghirò 4Dark witch
1995Compelling EvidenceMichelle Stone
1995Body CountSybil
1996Fantaghirò 5Strega Nera
1996Snowboard AcademyMimi
1999She's Too TallVeronica Lamar
2000Hostile EnvironmentMinna
2000DoomsdayerElizabeth Gast
2008Hustle, TheThe HustleRich lady
2009 (RUS), 2012 (DEN)Alice's BirthdayCaptainVoice (Danish)
2009Fish, TheThe FishHerself
2010Big Money RustlasWife
2011Ronal the BarbarianAmazon QueenVoice
2012GrindHouse 2woAngel
2013The KeyShort film
2011Ra.OneSoniaDanish voice-dub


1992CounterstrikeMonica SteileEpisode: "Bastille Day Terror"
2000Un posto al soleGitte2 episodes
2009Nite Tales: The SeriesMonaEpisode: "Black Widow"
2011SOKO 5113Gina WartenbergEpisode: "Stuttgart ist sexy"
2014Raising HopeSvetlanaEpisode: "Road to the Natesville"





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  34. ^ a b Rochlin, Margy (1 February 2010), "Addicted to Rehab", TV Guide: 34–35 
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  36. ^ "Dschungelcamp 2012: Brigitte Nielsen: "Ich hatte einen One-Night-Stand mit Sean Penn". Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  37. ^ "Sylvester Stallone | Nielsen In Rehab". Contactmusic. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
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  40. ^ "Celebrity Rehab 5 | Show Cast, Episodes, Guides, Trailers, Web Exclusives, Previews". Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
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  42. ^ "Article appeared on on 23 July 2009". 2011-04-20. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
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