Italy’s prime minister Giorgia Meloni has split up from her partner and father of her daughter, the journalist Andrea Giambruno, after a satirical television show released footage showing him making lewd remarks to female colleagues.
News of the break-up appeared on the homepage of most Italian news media on Friday morning, as the premier’s relationship with Giambruno was put under scrutiny earlier this year when the journalist made some controversial comments on women and rape.
In the aftermath of the heinous rape of two young girls in southern Italy, Giambruno said women should abstain from drinking and getting drunk if they want to avoid “the wolf” – a statement that was widely criticised as blaming women for sexual assault.
At the time, Meloni had defended him, saying he meant to share the kind of advice any mother – including her own – would have given her when she was younger. Possibly showing some frustration at being asked to answer Giambruno’s statement, she had also said that he could say whatever he wanted and she would not be answering his comments.
But the latest revelations by TV show Striscia la Notizia seems to have been the last straw for Meloni. Striscia, a primetime program of the Mediaset broadcaster owned by the late Silvio Berlusconi, aired two nights; worth of programming on Giambruno this week, using backstage clips and audio.
In the footage and audio, Giambruno can be heard telling his female colleagues about his affair with a co-worker and asking them to join their open relationship in threesomes and foursomes, as well as insistently asking them if they had a partner.
Meloni and Giambruno had been together for nearly a decade and share a 7-year-old daughter, Ginevra.
While she did not comment on the reason for the breakup and did not refer to the television show, Meloni posted a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Friday announcing the relationship with Giambruno had ended.
“My relationship with Andrea Giambruno, which lasted nearly ten years, ends here,” she wrote, thanking him for the many “wonderful years spent together” and for their daughter.
She said that their paths had taken different directions “for a while now” and it was time to acknowledge it. She added that she will “defend at all cost” their friendship and their daughter, before taking a jibe at “all of those wishing to weaken me by hitting me at home.”