As Cardinal he was given the [[titular church]] of [[San Callisto]], in 1562.ref He is also known to have had a sexual relationship with a noted poetess of the papal court at the time named Ersilia Cortese. The pope entertained the idea of degrading Innocenzo from the cardinalate. The young cardinal's behavior had so compromised Pope Julius III's credibility that he was prepared to reduce the cardinal again into the lay state. But in the end, nothing ever came of his idea as the pope could not bring himself to deny his favorite cardinal.
== Crimes and banishment ==
After the death of Julius, Innocenzo took part in the two [[papal conclave]]s of 1555. In 1559, on the way to a third conclave from Venice he murdered two men, father and son in who had "uttered ill words about him".ref For this crime he was arrested and imprisoned in the [[Castel Sant'Angelo]], by order of Pope [[Pius IV]]; and the following year he was moved to the abbey of [[Montecassino]], and placed in solitary confinement. Following the intervention of [[Cosimo I de' Medici]], duke of Florence, Innocenzo was released but nevertheless forced to face a fine of 100,000 scudi, and threatened with the stripping of his cardinalate. From Rome, Innocenzo was banished to [[Tivoli, Lazio|]], but returned to take part in the conclave of 1564. Following an attempt to rig the outcome of the election he was watched more closely by the guards, but not expelled.