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Giulia Farnese was a central character in the Canal+ series Borgia.
Farnese was married to Orsino Orsini but she was the mistress of Rodrigo Borgia - a man more than old enough to be her father, and lived mainly with Borgia before and after he became Pope Alexander VI. She would later have a daughter named Laura with Alexander.
Farnese was a skilled manipulator who was willing to use sex in order to get what she wanted and what would be to the best advantage of her family. Farnese also employed a spy on Alexander's daughter Lucrezia to learn any secrets she may have been privy to that would benefit her or her family.
When she was captured by the French she slept with the French General in order to secure her release. Alexander was less than pleased over the revelation, feeling that she slept her way to freedom. Farnese decided that in order to return to Alexander's good graces she needed to do something - and arranged for the French General to be attacked and castrated. She soon delivered the French General's sexual organs to be delivered to Alexander, who welcomed her back in to his apartments, wryly noting that he should never make her angry.
After Alexander was given painkillers he shared them with her, and like him she became addicted to them. It was due to the intervention of her friends and brother Alessandro that she was able to beat the addiction and return to Rome to help Alexander beat his addiction.
Despite her manipulative nature Farnese geniunely loved and cared for Alexander. When Alexander died in 1503 she was one of the few people who stayed to ensure Alexander received a proper funeral. When looters attacked the funeral, knocking Alexander's bloated body off the bier, it became obvious that canon law needed to be dispensed with, and she assisted the Pope's secretary Gacet in dragging Alexander's corpse to the tomb and placing it in the tomb.
Following Alexander's burial she tried to work her way in to Cesare's good graces. However Cesare made her aware that he was not as easy to manipulate as his father. In the end the pair did wind up sleeping together. Not long afterwards Pope Julius II also made sexual advances towards her that she rebuffed. What she didn't realize was that Julius was testing her to see if she would make a good prefect, and in a meeting with the Cardinals Julius named her to that role.