No, this isn’t the plot description of Colin Firth‘s next movie. It’s real life.
Firth’s wife, Livia Giuggioli, has confirmed that she had an affair with journalist Marco Brancaccia, a man she claims stalked her.
She admitted to her past relationship with Brancaccia after he insisted to U.K. newspaper The Times that Giuggioli fabricated the harassment allegations to cover up their involvement.
Firth and Giuggioli both admitted that she did have relations with Brancaccia, and insisted his harassment started afterwards.
Giuggioli, 48, has been married to Firth, 57, since 1997, but the pair unofficially separated a few years ago before getting back together.
“A few years ago Colin and Livia privately made the decision to separate,” a rep for Firth and Giuggioli said in a statement. “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,” continued the statement. “As a consequence of his stalking, threats and refusal to desist, the legal complaint was lodged with the Italian authorities.”
The allegations against Brancaccia, 55, spurred an investigation in Italy, since he works for Italian press agency Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA). He is still employed at ANSA as of this writing.
“The reporting this week on this case is understood to be the consequence of a leaked court document,” the statement concluded. “This is greatly to be regretted.”
“My ‘stalking’ consisted of two messages via WhatsApp after she ended our relationship in June 2016, and an email,” Brancaccia said to The Times. “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.”
As of this writing, Firth and Giuggioli have not added any further comments on the matter. The pair has two sons together: 16-year-old Luca and 15-year old Matteo.