Inside Colin Firth and Ex Livia Giuggiolo's Affair Scandal That Occurred 2 Years Before Split
The actor and Giuggiolo, who he married in 1997, revealed in March 2018 that she had had a relationship with Italian journalist Marco Brancaccia while she and Firth were briefly separated.
Giuggiolo, a film producer, accused Brancaccia of stalking her with “frightening” messages after she ended the affair, which he denied to the British newspaper The Times.
“A few years ago Colin and Livia privately made the decision to separate,” the Firths said in a statement in March 2018. “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 claimed Giuggiolo was lying to hide their relationship which occurred between 2015 and 2016 while she and Firth were separated.
Police opened an investigation against Brancaccia after Giuggiolo filed a report in Italy accusing him of launching “a frightening campaign of harassment,” which he denied.
“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 told PEOPLE. “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.”
Brancaccia was officially charged with stalking in May after authorities found “abusive messages and emails” on Brancaccia’s phone during the investigation, The Times previously reported.
The case was settled out of court in July 2018.
“In the best interests of their families, the parties have agreed a private settlement,” lawyers for both parties said in a statement to PEOPLE at the time. “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.”
Firth and Giuggiolo announced their split on Friday, with a rep telling PEOPLE in a statement, “Colin and Livia Firth have separated. They maintain a close friendship and remain united in their love for their children. They kindly ask for privacy. There will be no further comment.”
The ex-couple share sons Luca, 18, and Matteo, 16.