Giorgia Meloni leaves her partner after sexist comments on television
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said Friday who had separated from his fellow television journalist Andrea Giambruno, who has been criticized in recent weeks for sexist comments and messages. Meloni told reporters last month that she should not be judged by Giambruno's comments and in the future he would not answer questions about his behavior.
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The split comes as the prime minister, 46, celebrates his first year in office at the head of a right-wing coalition government that has defended the traditional family as one of its political characteristics.
"This is where my relationship with Andrea Giambruno ends, which lasted almost 10 years," Meloni wrote on his social media accounts. "Our paths have diverged for some time now and the time has come to acknowledge it," she added.
Meloni said he would not allow himself to be distracted by the difficulties of his private life, adding that "all those who hoped to weaken me by hitting me at home" would not succeed. Pollster Antonio Noto said that the issue would have little effect on voting intentionsbut it would probably improve Meloni's standing with the majority of the electorate.
"With what she did today she probably created a stronger bond with Italians," he said, noting that most of the comments on social media had been favorable to her.
Meloni and Giambruno, who met in a television studio in 2014, have a seven-year-old daughter. Giambruno, 42, is the host of a news program broadcast by Mediaset, owned by the heirs of the late Silvio Berlusconi, a former prime minister and Meloni ally.
This week, another current affairs satirical television program from Mediaset broadcast video excerpts from Giambruno's program in which he is shown using foul language, touching his groin and appearing to make advances to a colleague.
"Why didn't I meet you before?" he asks.
In a second audio recording broadcast Thursday, Giambruno is heard talking about having an affair and telling his colleagues that they can work with him if they participate in group sex. The television journalist had been widely criticized in August for comments interpreted by many as victim blaming, following a gang rape case.
Giambruno was not immediately available for comment. Mediaset said later on Friday that he had agreed with the company that they would remove him from their program over the next week. A person familiar with the matter said that Mediaset was investigating Giambruno's position to assess whether it had violated its internal code of conduct. Marco Furfaro of the opposition Democratic Party said Giambruno's comments were "pure chauvinism and sexism...uncommendable filth."
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