Eva Ionesco

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Eva Ionesco
Born (1965-07-18) 18 July 1965 (age 53)
Paris, France
OccupationActress, director, screenwriter
Years active1976–present

Eva Ionesco (born 18 July 1965) is a French actress, film director and screenwriter. She is the daughter of Romanian-French photographer Irina Ionesco.

Life and career[edit]

At the age of 5, Eva became her mother's favorite photo model. Irina Ionesco's erotic photographs of her young daughter Eva have been a source of controversy since they first appeared in the 1970s. Eva also modeled for other photographers such as Jacques Bourboulon.[1]

She is the youngest model ever to appear in a Playboy nude pictorial, since she was featured at age 11 in the October 1976 issue of the Italian edition of the magazine in a set by Bourboulon. Another of her nude pictorials, in the November 1978 issue of the Spanish edition of Penthouse, was a selection of her mother's photographs. She made also the cover page of Der Spiegel.[2]

Eva Ionesco made her film début at the age of 11 in 1976, playing a child in Roman Polanski's film The Tenant. A short time later she was cast in films of the mid-1970s such as Maladolescenza (also known as Puppy Love). In 1977 her mother lost custody of her children and Eva Ionesco was brought up by the parents of footwear designer Christian Louboutin. She tried three times to sue her mother for emotional distress, and the trial is still going on through various courts in France.[3] In 1998 the French police confiscated from her mother's apartment hundreds of photographs in which she appears at the age of five in suggestive poses and in complete nudity.[3]

Eva claimed her story served as inspiration for Louis Malle's film Pretty Baby,[3] (though that film is clearly a historical drama based on photographer E. J. Bellocq's Storyville images). In the 1980s, she attended the prestigious acting school Amandiers, directed by Patrice Chéreau and Pierre Romans. In 2012 Eva sued her mother for taking pornographic photos of her as a child.[4] Although much of her claim was denied, she did receive some compensation.[5]

Directorial career[edit]

Ionesco began directing in 2006.

In 2011 she directed her first full length feature film, My Little Princess which debuted at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The film, loosely inspired by Ionesco's personal life, starred Isabelle Huppert as a predatory photographer who uses her young daughter as a model in a series of nude photos.[6]

Ionesco again paired with Isabelle Huppert for her next film, A Golden Youth, about a young couple in Paris who begin to spend time with a much older and wealthier couple.

Personal life[edit]

Ionesco has been married to author Simon Liberati since 2013.[7] She was the inspiration behind his 2015 novel Eva.


As actress[edit]

As director[edit]

Theatrical work[edit]


  1. ^ Eva Ionesco, tombée des nusLibération – Anne Diatkine – 22 July 2010
  2. ^ Der Spiegel – 23 May 1977
  3. ^ a b c Anne Diatkine, Isabelle Huppert dans "My little princess", ELLE France, 24 June 2011
  4. ^ Leon Watson (19 December 2012). "Eva Ionesco: 11-year old Playboy star sues mother Irina Ionesco for taking pornographic photos of her". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  5. ^ "Child Playboy star Eva Ionesco sues her photographer mother over 'stolen childhood'". The Telegraph. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  6. ^ Rooney, David. "My Little Princess: Cannes 2011 Review".
  7. ^ Simon Liberati, « Eva Ionesco : une petite princesse au Soleil levant », Libération, 3 June 2014.

External links[edit]