Euro 2020 host going viral for ‘Basic Instinct’ moment

Who is Paola Ferrari?

The Italian TV host was a blip on everyone’s radar before she went viral during Euro 2020 coverage.

During the broadcast, Ferrari drew comparisons to American actress Sharon Stone in the film “Basic Instinct,” after she appeared to go commando while crossing her legs in a black slit dress.

Ferrari immediately denied the observations that she wasn’t wearing undergarments beneath her dress, and said “the viral video seems a bit exaggerated.”

The 60-year-old journalist, who’s known to speak her mind, added, “Sharon Stone was not wearing underwear in that scene. I, on the other hand, prefer to protect health and hygiene.”

Although many on the internet were introduced to Ferrari this week due to her viral Euro moment, she’s been in the spotlight for decades. Ferrari is an award-winning journalist, who’s known for her bold commentary and unapologetic attitude.

Ferrari has been a regular on RAI — a national broadcasting company in Italy — since the 1990s, hosting popular sports programs, including “La Domenica Sportiva” and “90º minuto.” She previously worked on the show “Portobello” as a switchboard operator.

Throughout her journalism career, Ferrari has worked for Italian networks such as Telenovela (Milan) and TG2 (TeleGiornale 2).

Ferrari was the host on the 2003-04 season of “90º minuto,” which made her the first woman to hold the role, which included leading conversations between group leaders and reporters.

In 2005, Ferrari appeared on the Italian version of “Dancing with the Stars,” and later returned to the show as a judge.

In September 2014, Ferrari made Italian headlines after she was replaced on “Domenica Sportiva” by her then-colleague Sabrina Gandolfi. At the time, a rumored rift between Ferrari and Gandolfi dominated the news cycle with a narrative that Ferrari was bitter. The reported show feud also involved host Marco Mazzocchi.

In the 2015-16 season of “90º minuto,” Mazzocchi reunited with Ferrari when she re-joined the program after a decade-long absence.

Ferrari, in a 2021 interview with Vanity Fair, described herself as “a stubborn woman with great self-confidence.” 

In response to longstanding rumors that she’s “jealous” of other sports journalists, Ferrari told the magazine, “It is absolutely not true,” before going on to name those whose work she admires.

“I have many friends in this world and there are some colleagues who I respect very much. For example Giorgia Rossi, Simona Rolandi and Anna Billò,” she said, describing the group as “very good and beautiful.”

Ferrari added, “Jealousy is not a feeling that belongs to me.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Ferrari explained what she “will never accept” when it comes to colleagues and the workplace.

“I think that to gain respect you need to show that you are good. We fought a lot to clear the role of women in the ball, now it bothers me a lot when I see some colleagues who show up on the sidelines with ultra-tight t-shirts and foam-padded shorts,” she said, adding, “I’m sorry, but I’ll never accept it.”

Ferrari recently joined a production company, Italian International Film, she told “Vanity Fair,” and already made a docu-film titled, “Le lolite dei Parioli.”

In 1997, Ferrari married Marco De Benedetti, head of The Carlyle Group — one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Together, the couple has two children, Alessandro and Virginia.

Ferrari, along with her mother, father, grandparents and children, was born and raised in Milan.