Is Everybody Loves Diamonds a true story? Origins of the new Prime Video series

Italian heist series Everybody Loves Diamonds is based on real events

Kim Rossi Stuart carrying a briefcase in Everybody Loves Diamonds
(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

A new Italian language series has Prime Video subscribers wondering if Everybody Loves Diamonds is a true story. 

October is shaping up to be a great month for TV releases, with Apple TV's adaptation of Lessons in Chemistry landing on the platform and Netflix's The Fall of the House of Usher hotly anticipated too. And Prime Video is also getting in on the action, with the global premiere of comedy heist series Everybody Loves Diamonds

The new release is an Italian language show (available with English subtitles) that follows a group of thieves as they carry out a mastermind plan to steal millions of dollars worth of diamonds and other treasures in Antwerp, Belgium. Much like Prime subscribers have also been asking if A Million Miles Away is based on a true story, the same questions are now being asked of Everybody Loves Diamonds. We've looked into the real events that the show is based on...

Is Everybody Loves Diamonds a true story?

Everybody Love Diamonds is inspired by true events. The series is based on the 2003 Antwerp Diamond Heist - dubbed 'the world's largest theft of diamonds' by media around the world - and adds a comedic twist to the story.

One of the biggest heists in history, the event took place on February 15 2003, and was led by Leonardo Notarbartolo and a group of Italian thieves. The group broke into a vault two floors beneath the Antwerp Diamond Center, in Belgium, and stole at least $100 million worth of diamonds, cash, and jewellery. 

The vault had 10 layers of security including infra-red heat detectors and a lock with millions of possible combinations that the thieves meticulously worked through, and went on to break into more than 100 safety deposit boxes full of treasure.

They reportedly covered security cameras with plastic bags and stole tapes of security footage, but the police were never able to figure out how the robbers cracked the access code of the vault.

The robbery reportedly required 18 months of preparation, and to this day most of the loot has not been found. However, Norbatalo was caught after poorly disposing of the evidence of his plans, and sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2005, but had since been released on parole in 2009.

In 2011 a European Arrest Warrant was issued against him after he was found to have violated his parole conditions, resulting in him being arrested again in 2013 and made to serve the remainder of his prison sentence in 2017.

Leonardo Notarbartolo is now reported to be living in his home in Giaveno, a comune in Turin, Italy.

What is Everybody Love Diamonds about?

The eight-part show Everybody Loves Diamonds is a heist series with a comedic twist. The story follows a team of small-time Italian thieves, led by Leonardo Notarbartolo, who manage to deceive top-level security with a genius mastermind plan and steal millions of dollars worth of precious stones from the Antwerp Diamond Centre.

Everybody Loves Diamonds cast

  • Kim Rossi Stuart as Leonardo Notarbartolo
  • Anna Foglietta as Anna
  • Gianmarco Tognazzi as Ghigo
  • Carlotta Antonelli as Sandra
  • Leonardo Lidi as Alberto
  • Rupert Everett as John Lovegrove
  • Johan Heldenbergh as Inspector Mertens
  • Synnøve Macody Lund as Judith DeWitt
  • Remo Girone as Generale
  • Jean Janssens as Nadine
  • Issam Dakka as Khadir
  • Peter Van den Begin as Simon Van De Velde
  • Elia Schilton as Levi

Where to watch Everybody Loves Diamonds

Everybody Love Diamonds premieres on Prime Video on Friday 13 October. Prime members will be able to watch Everybody Loves Diamonds via the Prime Video app available for smart TVs and mobile devices or on 

For those not already subscribed to Prime Video, you can sign up by visiting the website. Amazon offers a 30-day free trial, after which the streaming service costs £8.99 per month. 

For more TV show origins, the Love & Death true story had many baffled that the lead character apparently got away with murder, while the real-life cases behind Burning Body are equally as shocking. The Woman in The Wall was a work of fiction, but the horrific true story behind the institutions that inspired it leaves a haunting legacy.

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.