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Italian PM splits from 10-year partner after sexist comments

The Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and the “First Man”, Mediaset journalist Andrea Giambruno, broke up last week. 

The Premier announced the breakup on social media last Friday. “My relationship with Andrea Giambruno, which lasted almost 10 years, ends here,” she wrote. 

The breakup announcement came a day after a satirical Italian show broadcast some comments Giambruno made off-air towards female colleagues.

“You are a very smart woman, why didn’t I meet you before?” He can be heard saying to her co-host. In a second recording, he is heard telling a female colleague that they need another participant on the show, adding: “Can I touch my package while you talk to me?” And: “Join our group, let’s have a threesome, even a foursome.”

Andrea Giambruno, Meloni’s ex-partner, had often made comments which became a topic of discussions during Meloni’s mandate.

In July, he had denied the climate crisis on air, making fun of a news report warning people of the record-breaking heat levels in Italy, saying that “heat in the summer isn’t big news.”

In September, Meloni had defended Giambruno after he said that women should avoid getting drunk if they wanted to avoid getting raped, commenting on a series of rape cases that had happened in Italy. Meloni responded to the comments by saying that he was misinterpreted and that he meant what her mother had always told her, which was to “keep your eyes peeled and head screwed on”.

Giambruno’s off-air remarks of the last few days were no misinterpretation this time, and they added up to the many that, indirectly, had damaged Meloni’s reputation.

“I thank him for the wonderful years we spent together,” the PM’s Instagram post continued. “For the difficulties we went through and for giving me the most important thing in my life, which is our daughter Ginevra. Our paths have diverged for some time and it is time to acknowledge it.”

In an interview to Il Corriere della Sera, an Italian newspaper, Giambruno had revealed that Meloni and he had very different political opinions, but that they discussed them in a very critical and constructive way. 

When she became Prime Minister, Giambruno described her as a human being with her own sensitivity and sweetness, who had many difficulties during her teenage years and who grew up without a father. He said in an interview: “Giorgia is the proof that a woman can do anything, and better than a man.”

In her Instagram post, Meloni concluded saying she would “defend who we were, I will defend our friendship and I will defend, at all costs, a seven-year-old who loves her mother and father in a way I could not love mine”.

The couple has been together for almost a decade. They met in one of the television programmes Giambruno used to work for, when Meloni, hungry and tired, asked for something to eat. When she couldn’t finish the banana she was given, she handed it to Giambruno, mistaking him for her assistant. As he admitted later in an interview, for Giambruno it was “love at first sight”, and he felt he had to win her over. In 2016, they welcomed their daughter, Ginevra.

Meloni’s post ended: “Ps. All those who hope to weaken me by striking home, know that even if the drop wishes to carve the stone, the stone remains stone and the drop is only water.”

A day after the breakup announcement, the Premier flew to the Cairo Summit 2023, to discuss peace solutions for the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. In a press meeting, she was asked for comments on her breakup, to which she replied: “I am fine, I am doing my job as always. There is no political side to this, I don’t want to talk about this anymore.”

At the same time, Mediaset, one of the two main media agencies in Italy, which produces Giambruno’s show, announced that the journalist had taken a one-week voluntary suspension from directing the daily news on Retequattro, an Italian channel.



Cover image: Rossella Papetti/AGF/Shutterstock

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Tags: #italy #giorgia meloni #andrea giambruno #italian prime minister #break up


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