Imperio de cristal (English title: Crystal Empire) is a Mexican telenovela produced by Carlos Sotomayor for Televisa in 1994.
Rebecca Jones and Ari Telch starred as protagonists, while Alejandro Camacho and María Rubio starred as antagonists. Kate del Castillo, Germán Gutiérrez, Cecilia Gabriela, Ignacio López Tarso and Emilia Carranza starred as stellar performances.
Sofía Vidal has been having nightmares all her childhood with her mother's death. Now as an adult, the dreams are with Katia, her daughter. One day she assists with her husband Uriel and Katia to a party at the Lombardos' mansion.
Cesar, the headship of the Lombardo family and company (the powerful crystal entrepreneurs), finds out that Sofia is the daughter of his impossible love. Elena, who died tragically in an accident, when Sofia was still a child. Cesar, without Sofia knowing it, decides to protect her because of Elena's memory, which he cherishes still.
Cesar is married in second nuptials to Livia Arizmedi, a former actress who dreams on recovering her career. Sofia's appearance seriously worries Livia, considering her an intruder who could displace her, just as Elena would have done in the past.
Livia, who hides a terrible secret that involves Sophia, plots against her, trying to separate her from the family. For this, she convinces a friend of her, Renata, to seduce Uriel and cheat on Sofia. Julio Lombardo is the third of Cesar's children and the black sheep of the family. After studying in Italy he returns to Mexico in order to marry his childhood sweetheart, Elisa.
Augusto, Cesar's second children, is obsessed by Sofia and is determined to taking her at any price, knowing besides that it's the way for his father to name as his successor in the enterprises Augusto does everything to end Sofia's marriage, until finally Uriel decides to abandon her and little Katia.
Sofia and Julio meet and great passion arises between them, to the extent that Julio is determined to face anything, including ending his relationship with Elisa. To make that Julio will come back with her, Elisa convinces her father, Bernal to fire Sofia since he's her boss at the Prisma company unless she brakes up with Julio.
Sofia accepts but Cesar helps her by finding her a job at the Lombardo company. Cesar's youngest children are twins: Narda and Claudio who're despised by their parents, the first because she's capricious and stubborn and the second because he has been in an insane asylum for years (because the sadistic Augusto has been abusing him, at the back of his family) creating him an infantile psychosis and making him paranoid and traumatized.
While Elisa stops chasing Julio because she has fallen in love with Julio's best friend, German. But Bernal disapproves of this relationship. Octavio, Cesar's oldest son and next in line to inherit the family headship, has an illness that makes him become very sick every time he has a pressure.
Due to this, Augusto breaks the machines that Octavio had bought for the company, making Octavio fells ill again. Then he sends Esther and Marco Aurelio (Octavio's wife and son) to the movies and puts an overdose of his pills in his figs with the help of Livia.
Octavio dies and Claudio sees what happened but he's unable to say anything to the family because of Augusto's abuse. To be sure that Claudio won't say anything about Octavio's death, he sets his dog on him who bites him severely. When the family returns from Octavio's wake ceremony they're surprised to see an injured Claudio muttering to himself "Don't touch me. If you do I'll break... I'll break like glass".
Since them he avoids contact with others but his family ignores him because they think he's mentally unstable again. Only Julio believes him. After Octavio's death, Narda begins working at the Lombardos' company but Augusto has Bruno, a poor-class guy, seduce her and make her pregnant. Bruno fells in love with Narda in the process but he's kicked out after it was revealed that he was hired by Augusto.
It's shown that Livia's mother has lived in an asylum for years without her grandchildren to know about this, until Julio finds it out. Augusto hires Uriel, who's now Sofia's ex-husband to help him with his evil plans. For this, he kidnaps Katia (who happily agrees as she can see her father again) but Julio rescues her.
Then, in Katia's birthday, Uriel decides to betray Augusto so he will have the money for him. Augusto kills Uriel with a car, as he was going to Katia's party. Claudio finds the gift that Uriel had been planning on giving to Katia, which is a teddy bear and a note that reveals that Augusto killed Octavio.
This makes Claudio more reclusive and paranoid due to his fear of Augusto. When Cesar and his family are in a yacht, Augusto poisons and throws Cesar to the sea. Sofia and Julio go to the asylum in which Antonia, Livia's mother, remains. They try to make her reveal if Livia killed Elena but the old woman says that she will only talk to Elena (even she knew that she was dead).
Sofia dresses up as Elena and Antonia reveals that years ago, when Sofia was a young girl, Livia talked to Elena to cut her relationship with Cesar. When she refuses, Livia changes the parts of the car making that the car crashed and Elena died, while Sofia survived.
Sofia takes the conclusion that Antonia is in the asylum because Livia locked her there so she won't say what happened that day (as she saw what Livia was doing to the car). Julio and Esther ask Claudio if he knows what happened. The young man reveals that Augusto crashed the machines Octavio bought for the company so he would fall ill and when Claudio revealed the plot to Octavio, Augusto poisoned the figs and " made his heart break.".
While saying this Clauido breaks down again. Livia causes a heart attack that results in Bernal´s death after she reveals that she's the new owner of Prisma, Bernal's company. Before his death he approves German and Elisa relationship. That night, Claudio, Katia and Marco make a puppet show named "The Rat Trap" that reveals with indirects to the family. All the crimes Augusto committed (included Octavio's murder).
Cesar survived the fall from the ocean and tries to send Augusto to prison but he escapes. Then he shoots Julio and Sofia resulting with an injured Julio. Narda gives birth to twins, like she and Claudio are. She forgives Bruno for what he did and ends up with him. Julio is in the hospital and Claudio takes care of him. Juanita calls Claudio and prevents him from Augusto, who is coming to kill Julio. Claudio hides Julio in a closet and Augusto plan fails.
Julio and Claudio decide to go for Sofia who is in the theater. Livia, who is preparing herself to return as an actress, reveals to Sofia that she killed Elena and everyone hears this on the stereophones of the theater. Cesar with the help of Bruno had made a trap so Livia will confess. It's revealed to Augusto that Cesar is not his father but Phillippe, Livia's lover and a French actor. He gives money to Phillipe in order to never see him again and despises his mother.
Andrea meets an ex-boyfriend who saved Cesar from drowning at the sea. He tries to start a relationship with her again but she refuses, since her family is the most important thing to her by now. Cesar apologizes to Claudio and reveals that he always knew the abuse he was going through but never did anything (as Cesar was more interested in Elena by that time).
Claudio accepts and says that he does not hate his family for what they did except Augusto, but he's disappointed because he could not help Julio much and he's weak. Cesar denies this. Livia is left alone and tries to cut her wrists wearing the costume she was supposed to wear at her return as an actress. No one tries to help her but Claudio.
Seeing that her youngest son still loves her after all the abuse and neglect, Livia apologizes to Claudio and says that he's the kindest and the best of the family. Cesar knows by a letter that Augusto is not his son. Augusto tries to kill a pregnant Sofia but Julio pushes him to a glass door that crashes resulting in his immediate death.
There's a Baptism party for Julio Cesar, Julio and Sofia's baby son. Juanita tells Claudio that he had won a contest of crystal design and his castles. Narda reveals that she sent Claudio's designs to the contest. Claudio takes Julio's former job at the Lombardos' company: glass designer.
Cesar names Julio as the Lombardos' successor and family headship. Livia goes to her own asylum in which she is attended by Flora. Sofia has another nightmare in which Augusto kills her and her baby with a sword. She wakes up and finds herself with Julio, their son and her daughter. Sofia tells them that her nightmares are gone and her dreams had just started. Finally the Lombardo family can live happily.
CharacterSofía Vidal (Protagonist) Daughter of Elena. As a young girl, her mother died in a car accident and she has frequent nightmares after this (sometimes is her daughter, Katia, that appears). In a party she mets the Lombardo family and Cesar is surprised to see that she looks alike his sweetheart, Elena. After this she begins to work in the Lombardo company and fells in love with Julio but she is forced to marry Augusto.
Julio Lombardo (Protagonist) Third children of the Lombardo family and the black sheep of the family. He returns to Mexico after studying for years in Italy to marry his girlfriend Elisa. But he fells in love with Sofia and lefts Elisa. Unlike Augusto, Julio is not interested in his father's inheritance thus making him fight with his father several times. The problems at the house makes him to care more for his family and take his revenge on Augusto.
Augusto Lombardo (Villain) Second children of the Lombardo family and Livia's favorite. He's very smart but also sinister and greedy. He is abusive towards Claudio to the point that the younger was sent to an insane asylum. He decides to use Sofia for his plans by making him marry her in order to receive his father's inheritance. In the end he's revealed that his father isn't Cesar, but Phillipe, a French actor and Livia's affair. He is later killed by Julio.
Livia Arizmendi (Villain) Cesar's second wife and a retired actress. She dislikes Sofia because she believes that her presence and the fact she looks a lot like Elena (who Cesar truly loved) is bad for the Lombardo family. She helps Augusto with his plans because she believes that he will help her to become the star actress she once was.
Narda Lombardo - Fourth child of the Lombardo family and Claudio's older twin. She's a rebel and a spoiled princess but this is just to get attention from her parents. She's mean to Claudio, but she truly loves him. When she begins working at the family company, Augusto tries to make her quit and convinces Bruno to seduce her. In the end she gets pregnant with twins.
César Lombardo - The head of the Lombardo family.
Claudio Lombardo - Fifth child of the Lombardo family and Narda's twin. As a child he was abused mentally and physically by Augusto to the point that (after a severe beaten by Augusto's side that caused Claudio to break down) he was sent to an insane asylum in which he spent his childhood and his first teenage years, because everyone thought that he was mentally unstable (except Octavio who knew everything that happened to him but never said a word). He is released but has become traumatized and paranoid to the point of stutter and wear baggy clothes. He is still very afraid of Augusto (who still abuses him) and still loves his parents and his siblings (except Augusto) even they think he's mentally unstable. He's also childish and creative and loves to make castles.
Octavio Lombardo - First child of the Lombardo family. The only son of Cesar and his first wife. He is the next in line to inherit the family headship but he is ill most of the time. To kill him so he could inherit the family headship, Augusto (with the help of Livia) poisons the figs he was eating and dies. Before dying, he convinces Claudio (who saw the murder) to act like he's really mentally unstable so Augusto would not suspect of him. He's revealed to be the only one that knew about Augusto's abuse towards Claudio but never said a word even when Claudio was unjustly locked away.