The journalist accused of stalking Colin Firth’s wife has claimed she made up the allegations to deflect attention from the fact that they had an affair. And in a surprise twist, Firth’s wife has now confessed to the tryst.
Livia Giuggioli, 48, an Italian film producer who married Firth in 1997, has admitted having an affair with her old friend Marco Brancaccia, 55. She said in a statement to The Times that the relationship took place while she and Firth, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of King George VI, were separated, but that after they reunited, “Mr. Brancaccia carried out a frightening campaign of harassment over several months, much of which is documented.”
However Brancaccia, who works for the Italian news agency Ansa, told The Times the stalking allegations were false.
“We were romantically involved, she wanted to leave Colin for me. My ‘stalking’ consisted of two messages via WhatsApp after she ended our relationship in June 2016, and an email,” he said. “I wrote an email to Colin about my relationship with Livia, which I now regret sending, and she filed a complaint against me for stalking out of fear that I could go public with what she had revealed to me about her marriage and work. In a year she sent me hundreds of messages of love, photos, and videos, even a diary.”
Last night, Giuggioli and Firth admitted the affair had taken place but held fast to their claims that Brancaccia had stalked her after the affair ended.
Italy has some of the strongest anti-stalking legislation in the world.
In a statement to The Times, a spokesperson for the couple said: “A few years ago, Colin and Livia privately made the decision to separate. During that time, Livia briefly became involved with former friend Mr. Brancaccia. The Firths have since reunited.
“Subsequently, Mr. Brancaccia carried out a frightening campaign of harassment over several months, much of which is documented.”
Colin Firth acquired Italian citizenship last year and the couple spends much of their time in Umbria. They have two teenage sons. Details of the investigation first appeared in Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
Brancaccia said he regretted involving Firth, 57, who he said had shown “understanding.”
The Firths said that they “never had any desire to make this matter public,” and that it had only come to the attention of the media due to leaked court documents.
In the complaint, Giuggioli stated that she lived in terror because of the stalking and thought he might be following her, according to La Repubblica.
The news agency that employs Brancaccia as a bureau chief in Brazil filed a report on the case this week, and has said that Brancaccia remains an employee.