In flashbacks, David leaves the duties of the publisher to his father's trusted associates while living as a playboy in Manhattan. He is introduced to Sofia Serrano by his best friend, Brian Shelby, during a party. David and Sofia spend the night together at Sofia's apartment and fall in love, unaware David's current lover, Julie Gianni, has followed them there. As David leaves, Julie offers him a ride, and soon reveals her jealously at Sofia. She purposely crashes the car, killing herself and drastically disfiguring David. Doctors cannot repair David's face using plastic surgery, forcing him to wear the prosthetic mask around others, causing him to become depressed. Brian convinces David to join him and Sofia at a club, but David ends up drunk and insults the two. They leave him to wallow in the street outside the club.
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