Recently become obsessed with Formula One racing legend Ayrton Senna. A beautiful Brazilian man who spoke haltingly but profoundly, Senna was an icon in the 90s and remains the heart of Brasil. His death by crash during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix remains the last F1 racing fatality. He's exceptionally interesting in that he was an advocate for racing safety measures and was by and large rebuffed or resisted by racing authorities. His doctor and girlfriend Adriane Galisteu both said Senna was filled with a sense of foreboding the night before his final race, and did not want to drive.
Watch the documentary and you'll see what I mean about Senna. Despite the cars and girls and money and yachts, he never seems happy. He was concerned with the poverty and political instability in Sao Paolo and Brasil as a whole, and quietly donated millions to Brazilian children's charities throughout his career. (This fact was only found out after his death). He was dedicated to God and somehow otherworldly in his speech and thoughts. That's rare for a racecar driver.
This is Adriane Galisteu. She is also quite fascinating to me. At the time of his death they had been dating for 13 months and she was expected to become his wife, despite her unfriendly relations with the Senna family. In all the photos of the two of them together, Galisteu looks like the most happy and carefree woman alive. Yet reading her Wiki entry suggests otherwise: a Brazilian-Hungarian model, Galisteu lost her father at the age of 15 and her brother to AIDS when he was 28. There is no mention of her mother. Maybe I'm naive, but her later posing for Playboy might certainly be related to the lack a strong family connection. It appears that she was with little family and was thus presumably poor. A striking blonde, I'd assume she turned to modelling largely for the money and took the nude jobs and Playboy opportunities for that reason. Just adds a whole new dimension to her doesn't it?
Perhaps it's because of her Playboy photos that Senna's family disliked her. They disliked her so much that they were publicly cold to her at Senna's funeral, labelling Xuxa (an extremely powerful media personality in Brazil) his informal 'widow'. It was Xuxa who entered the funeral holding hands with Viviane, Senna's sister. I don't know - even this kills me. The poor girl looks so happy and in love with Senna and even at his funeral she is despised. Also, Senna, as the committed Catholic and conservative he was, was extremely close to his family. Dating a girl they didn't like is an outlier in his biography. It sticks out to me as uncharacteristic, which suggests that he felt so strongly for Galisteu that he was willing to protect and defend her even from the closest people in his life.
Ah. Love stories.