There is a war raging in the Middle East. The specter of terrorism is returning to Europe. A new China and Russia alliance is raising questions about the breakup of the world order.
But Italy on Friday was enthralled by a different breakup, as Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni alerted the country that her relationship with her longtime companion, the father of her daughter, and a television news anchor who has consistently caused her headaches, was finito after he appeared to flirt and proposition other women in comments caught on hot microphones and off-air video footage.
“My relationship with Andrea Giambruno, which lasted nearly 10 years, ends here,” Ms. Meloni wrote in a post on her social media channels, accompanied by a photo from happier times — a selfie of herself smiling with their then-toddler daughter in her arms and him with sculpted facial hair, an unbuttoned shirt and a model-serious face beside her. She thanked him for the “splendid” years together and for having given her the gift of their daughter. “Our ways have been divided for some time,” she wrote. “And the time has come to act.”
Mr. Giambruno, 42, had doubted climate change, compared migrants to cattle, and suggested that women avoid drinking to excess to avoid being raped, but what appears to have especially upset the prime minister is the appearance of her partner hitting on women who were not the prime minister.
The Italian satire show “Striscia la Notizia” this week revealed off-the-air video of the freewheeling Mr. Giambruno, the anchorman of “The Diary of the Day,” using vulgar language and crotch-grabbing gestures as he struts around the television studio and stopping by the desk of a seemingly annoyed co-anchor, commenting on the “incredible beauty” of her blue blouse. Giorgia did not seem on his mind. Boasting about his good hair in a room filled with bald men, he tells her, “You are such an intelligent woman, but how come I didn’t meet you earlier?”
Perhaps more damaging remarks, also obtained and aired this week by “Striscia La Notizia,” appear to have come from the Channel 4 studios, when microphones picked up his conversation with unidentified women. As an icebreaker, he asked a woman if it would be OK if he touched “my package” as they talked. She pointed out that he already had.
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