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Italian PM Giorgia Meloni separates from partner of nearly 10 years after his lewd off-air remarks

Giambruno was heard boasting about an affair and making advances towards a female colleague in off-air audio recordings. He stoked controversy earlier when he advised women to "not get too drunk" to avoid rape.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Rome Published on: October 20, 2023 19:03 IST
Italian PM Giorgia Meloni with her ex-partner Andrea
Image Source : AP Italian PM Giorgia Meloni with her ex-partner Andrea Giambruno

In a sudden announcement, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced on Friday that she is separating from her partner and father of her daughter after nearly a decade together, following his lewd off-air remarks.

"My relationship with Andrea Giambruno, which lasted almost 10 years, ends here. I thank him for the wonderful years we spent together, for the difficulties we went through and for giving me the most important thing in my life, which is our daughter Ginevra. Our paths have diverged for some time and it is time to acknowledge it," she said in an Instagram post.

According to The Guardian, an off-air clip emerged where Giambruno complains about criticisms of his hairstyle before telling his female colleague: “Why didn’t I meet you before?” In another clip, he was heard suggesting female colleagues participate in group sex, whilst using foul language.

More explicit off-air comments were then broadcast on Thursday, in which Giambruno was heard asking another colleague whether she was single or in an open relationship, BBC reported. He was also heard boasting about an affair.

Meloni and Giambruno met in 2015 and they have a seven-year-old daughter. She is Italy's first woman PM and first hard-right-led administration since the end of World War II. Meloni was also raised by a single mother after her father abandoned her family.

"All those who sought to weaken me by striking my family should know that even if a water drop can hope to break a rock, a rock will always be a rock while a drop is just water," she said.

Giambruno's previous controversies

Andrea Giambruno had earlier sparked a major row with his controversial remarks suggesting women can avoid rape incidents by not getting too drunk. On his show at an Italian channel, Giambruno said,"If you go dancing you are fully entitled to get drunk ... but if you avoid getting drunk and losing consciousness, perhaps you’d also avoid getting into trouble, because then you’ll find the wolf."

His remarks came after a string of high-profile gangrape cases in Italy. Giambruno, a journalist, was accompanied by the editor of an Italian daily, who suggested women to "keep your wits" and not lose consciousness if they wanted to avoid rape. Both of them termed rapists as "wolves".

His remarks caused widespread outrage, with opposition members calling on Meloni to distance herself from his remarks. However, Meloni had defended his remarks and said that although they were "hasty", his words were misinterpreted.

Giambruno’s other on-air gaffes include comments denying the climate crisis. “Heat in the summer isn’t big news,” he said in July when temperatures reached record-breaking levels in Italy.

(with AP inputs)

ALSO READ | 'Avoid getting drunk to prevent rape...': Italian PM's partner stokes controversy with his remarks

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