Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has announced her breakup with a TV anchor, the father of her child, after he made a series of controversial remarks.
(Bloomberg) — Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has announced her breakup with a TV anchor, the father of her child, after he made a series of controversial remarks.
In a message on social media platforms Friday that won her support across the political spectrum, Meloni said she had separated from Andrea Giambruno after an almost decade-long relationship. She thanked him “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 act on this,” wrote Meloni, who came to power at the head of a right-wing coalition a year ago this weekend.
Giambruno triggered criticism last summer when he suggested on air that women were more likely to avoid being raped by not getting too drunk. A few days later Meloni told reporters that she should not be judged for Giambruno’s remarks, and that he should not be attacked just because he was her partner.
Giambruno has been temporarily suspended from anchoring his daily show on the Rete 4 channel, while the Mediaset company makes an assessment, a spokesman for the firm said Friday.
Meloni, who has spoken repeatedly about her experience growing up in a single-mother household, has built her image on a narrative centered more on motherhood than her couple. Her slogan “I am Giorgia, I am a mother, I am a Christian” has been so definitive for her brand that it became a musical remix popular during her campaign for the premiership.
“Giorgia Meloni has a deep knowledge of the media,” said Claudia Gina Hassan, professor of sociology of communication at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. “This is an attempt to defuse a media bomb, which could have become unmanageable.”
Since taking office, Meloni has spoken publicly about her identity as both Italy’s first female prime minister and a mother. She often carved out family time with her daughter during work trips, including at the Group of 20 nations summit in Bali last year and the UN General Assembly last month, when she skipped a public event for a pizza with her seven-year-old daughter.
Meloni’s post on X prompted about two million views in a few hours and backing from opposition parties. Alessandra Moretti, of the center-left Democratic Party, praised Meloni for acting “in a complex situation as a free woman.”
Protecting motherhood and boosting her country’s low birth rate have been signature elements of Meloni’s domestic policy. The budget law she presented earlier this week introduces fiscal breaks for families with two or more children.
–With assistance from Chiara Albanese and Daniele Lepido.
(Updates with Giambruno’s suspension in fifth paragraph)
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