July 05, 2018 10:08 AM

Colin Firth and his wife Livia have settled out of court with Marco Brancaccia after accusing the Italian journalist of stalking Livia following the end of an affair with her.

“In the best interests of their families, the parties have agreed a private settlement,” lawyers for both parties said in a statement to PEOPLE. “Therefore the parties have asked the court for a postponement of the preliminary hearing in order to formalize the agreement. From this point on, this agreement precludes any further public statement by any of the parties about this matter.” 

Brancaccia had a relationship with Livia while she was briefly separated from Firth between 2015 and 2016. Last year, police opened up an investigation against Brancaccia after Livia filed a report in Italy accusing him of launching “a frightening campaign of harassment,” which he denied.

Brancaccia was officially charged with stalking in May after authorities found “abusive messages and emails” on Brancaccia’s phone during the investigation, The Times reported.

Colin and Livia Firth
Dave Benett/WireImage

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE in March, Firth and Livia confirmed the relationship, saying, “A few years ago Colin and Livia privately made the decision to separate. During that time Livia briefly became involved with former friend Mr. Brancaccia. The Firths have since reunited.”

The statement continued, “Subsequently, Mr. Brancaccia carried out a frightening campaign of harassment over several months, much of which is documented. For obvious reasons, the Firths have never had any desire to make this matter public.”

Brancacccia denied the claims Firth and Livia made against him in March — telling PEOPLE he had barely been in contact with Livia since their relationship ended because he had been on assignment in Brazil since the end of the romance. He also said he did not contact her during his one trip home to Italy last summer.

“The reality is that Livia and I have known each other since we were youths, then in 2015-2016 we had an 11-month love affair,” Brancaccia explained. “After it ended in June 2016 I never called her again. I did send her two WhatsApp messages, one happy birthday [text message] and an email to Colin, the latter which I truly regret.”

Marco Brancaccia
Twitter

During their 11-month affair, Brancaccia claimed he and Livia would travel to see each other “as often as possible” — visiting Italy, Brazil, London and New York and writing WhatsApp messages during the day. “It was a love story,” he said.

Brancaccia claimed that the end of their relationship came after he pressured Livia on when she would divorce Firth. “I have no reason to doubt that when she said she loved me and she wanted to be with me, she was being honest,” he said. “But when it came to actions, and I asked her when she would tell Colin, she abruptly ended the relationship.”

Firth and Livia married in 1997 after first meeting on the 1996 set of the BBC drama Nostromo. The two later moved to the Italian region of Umbria and welcomed two sons, Luca, 16, and Matteo, 15. Firth has since become an Italian citizen.

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