Colin Firth's Wife's Ex-Lover Charged with Stalking Her After Affair

Marco Brancaccia has been officially charged with stalking Colin Firth's wife Livia Firth, British newspaper The Times reported

Marco Brancaccia has been officially charged with stalking Colin Firth’s wife Livia Firth, British newspaper The Times reported.

The Italian journalist 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 police report in Italy accused him of launching “a frightening campaign of harassment” — which he denies.

They found “abusive messages and emails” on Brancaccia’s phone during the investigation, The Times reported.

Though lawyers for Brancaccia and Livia appeared at a closed pre-trial hearing in Rome on Tuesday where charges were formally made, The Times reported a lawyers strike rescheduled their meeting until July. There, the judge will decide whether or not to send the case to trial. All hearings are expected to be held in private.

If convicted, Brancaccia could face five years in jail, The Times reported. Said prosecutor Maria Monteleone,We think we have enough evidence, otherwise we would not have asked for a trial.”

A rep for Firth declined to comment.

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In March, Brancacccia, 55, denied the claims Firth, 57, and Livia, 48, had made against him — 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 and 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.”

He continued, “It was sent out in a moment of frustration, sadness — a terrible moment. In the email to Colin — which now in retrospect I truly regret sending — I informed him of the affair I had with Livia. I would never now send that email. It was a terrible mistake, so much so that I even apologized. But to go from that to being made out to be a stalker is just not right.”

During their 11-month affair, Brancaccia said he and Livia would often 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.”

Marco Brancaccia has been accused of stalking (Image: Twitter)

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, 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.”

Brancaccia says he wrote to Firth in detail about his affair with Livia after he saw the two step out together on TV.

“It hurt me very much so I wrote to him and told him everything about our affair. After a couple of days he answered. He was polite. He wrote something along the lines of, ‘You hurt me, but I understand that you are hurting too.’ After that, I never got in touch with them again.”

The Green Carpet Fashion Awards Italia 2017

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.

After learning of the suit in Spring 2017, Brancaccia filed for calumny against Livia in May 2017 for purportedly falsely accusing him of having committed a crime in front of a police or judicial authority.

“Together with my lawyers we established that what had been written in Livia’s complaint was slanderous,” he told PEOPLE. “I have never threatened Livia or any other member of her family.”

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