Italian banker breaks off engagement from fiancée in dramatic banquet speech

Massimo Segre, who denies leaking footage of the speech or allowing it to be filmed, has been accused of an act of ‘abhorrent violence’ by his ex-fiancée, entrepreneur Cristina Seymandi

Olivia Petter
Monday 21 August 2023 13:25 BST
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A prominent Italian banker’s speech has gone viral after he accused his fiancée of cheating on him, in a dramatic address delivered during their lavish engagement party.

Last week, millionaire Massimo Segre stood up to give a toast at the banquet held at his Turin mansion, where Italian high society had gathered to celebrate his engagement to entrepreneur Cristina Seymandi.

“I have always thought that loving a person is wishing the best for them, even more than for yourself,” the 64-year-old began.

“In this case, I want to give Cristina the freedom to love. Specifically, to love another person, a well-known lawyer.

“Dear Cristina, I know how mentally and sexually in love you are with him, as you have confided in him.

“And I know that before him, you were in a relationship with a well-known industrialist. Do not think that I am pleased to look like a cuckold in front of all of you.”

He went on to accuse Seymandi, 47, of lying and turning him against his children from another marriage.

“She is so good at telling her truths, that I could not let her be the only one to explain why I am ending our relationship tonight,” he added.

“Dear Cristina, go to Mykonos with your lawyer. Be happy with him, it’s all paid for, just like the trip to Vietnam.”

Shaky video footage of the speech has since been leaked online, though it’s not clear who shared or recorded it. It shows Seymandi staring at Segre in shock as he delivered the speech before walking off.

The couple had been engaged for three years. Since the speech went viral on social media, they have been levelling various allegations against one another in the Italian press.

“When he started talking, I thought it was a joke. Then I was petrified. It was an act of abhorrent violence,” Seymandi told Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera.

“Not to mention the comments on social networks with obscene words and phrases. If the same thing had happened but with the roles reversed, the reactions would have been very different. But I am a woman, and in this world, that makes a big difference.”

Writing in a letter to the director of the Zona Bianca TV news programme, Seymandi claimed that Segre had committed an act of “psychological violence” and had “meticulously planned his revenge”.

She also alleged that a valuable ring given to her by Segre’s mother in honour of their upcoming nuptials had “mysteriously disappeared” just two weeks prior to the engagement party.

An advisor for Seymandi has now said that legal action could take place.

“Very probably Seymandi will be taking legal action for reputational damage,” Luca Poma told The Times. “She has suffered very serious attacks on social media and threats from Italian citizens. It has been traumatic.”

Meanwhile, Seymandi’s lawyer has alleged that Segre’s speech was planned.

“The letter was read out in front of dozens of people and it was captured in a video that was sent to the newspapers,” Claudio Strata told The Times. “We don’t think this was improvised.”

Segre’s lawyers have claimed that he did not consent to the speech being filmed or shared: “Professor Massimo categorically denies having published the video, let alone having allowed it to be filmed”.

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