Italy’s prime minister Giorgia Meloni leaves partner after his sexist comments

The remarks made by Andrea Giambruno have sparked international outrage

Alvise Armellini,Angelo Amante
Friday 20 October 2023 16:41 BST

Italy according to Giorgia Meloni: no country for non-traditional families

Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni has left her partner Andrea Giambruno, a television journalist, who has drawn criticism in recent weeks over sexist comments.

Ms Meloni told reporters last month that she should not be judged on Giambruno’s remarks, and in future would not answer questions about his behaviour.

The split comes as the 46-year-old prime minister celebrates her first year in office at the head of a right-wing coalition government that has defended the traditional family as one of its policy hallmarks.

“My relationship with Andrea Giambruno, which lasted almost 10 years, ends here,” Ms Meloni wrote on her social media accounts. “Our paths have diverged for some time, and the time has come to acknowledge it,” she added.

Ms Meloni said she would not be distracted by difficulties in her private life, saying that “all those who hoped to weaken me by striking me at home” would be unsuccessful.

The couple, who met in a TV studio in 2014, have a seven-year-old daughter.

Giambruno, 42, hosts the Diario del Giorno [Daily diary] programme on the Rete 4 commercial station. The programme is transmitted by Mediaset, part of the MFE media group, which is owned by the heirs of the late Silvio Berlusconi, a former prime minister and a Meloni ally.

Giorgia Meloni arrives with her partner Andrea Giambruno, second from left, at the Vatican in January this year for an audience with Pope Francis

This week, a satirical current affairs television show on Mediaset broadcast off-air video excerpts from Giambruno’s programme, which showed him using foul language, touching his groin and appearing to make advances to a female colleague.

“Why didn’t I meet you before?”, he asks her.

In a second audio recording, aired on Thursday, Giambruno is heard talking about being in an affair and telling female colleagues they can work with him if they take part in group sex.

In August, Giambruno made a victim-blaming statement about a high-profile gang-rape case in the Sicilian capital Palermo.

“If you go dancing, you have every right to get drunk – there shouldn’t be any kind of misunderstanding and any kind of problem – but if you avoid getting drunk and losing your senses, you might also avoid running into certain problems and coming across a wolf,” he said.

Giambruno was not immediately available for comment.

Marco Furfaro of the opposition Democratic Party said Giambruno’s comments were “pure chauvinism and sexism ... uncommentable filth”.

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