Colin Firth's wife Livia Giuggioli has admitted to having an affair with a former friend the couple have accused of stalking her.
Italian film producer Giuggioli, 48, has been married to Firth since 1997. The couple recently made a complaint to Italian police accusing Marco Brancaccia, a 55-year-old journalist, of terrorising Giuggioli with messages and phone calls.
Brancaccia has denied their accusations, claiming Firth's wife invented the harassment allegations to cover up an affair with him which began in 2015 and ended the following year.
Colin and Livia have stayed together, since split, and were last seen on the red carpet together on 6 February, 2018
In a statement to The Times, the couple's spokesman admitted the affair, but said that it had occurred while they were briefly separated, and that Brancaccia harassed her after the fling ended.
"A few years ago Colin and Livia privately made the decision to separate," the statement reads. "During that time Livia briefly became involved with former friend Mr. Brancaccia. The Firths have since reunited.
"Subsequently, Mr. Brancaccia carried out a frightening campaign of harassment over several months, much of which is documented. The Firths have two children and live in Chiswick, west London, and own a house in Umbria. For obvious reasons, the Firths have never had any desire to make this matter public."
Details of the police investigation into Brancaccia were first revealed in Italy's La Repubblica newspaper. Prosecuting officers have reportedly sent a request to judges in Rome to take the case to trial.
Journalist Brancaccia, who works for Italy's Ansa news agency, denies their claims and says Giuggioli planned to leave the Oscar winner for him as her marriage had "been over for years".
Speaking about the stalking allegations, he added: "My 'stalking' consisted of two messages via WhatsApp after she ended our relationship in June 2016, and an email. I wrote an email to Colin about my relationship with Livia, which I now regret sending, and she filed a complaint against me for stalking out of fear that I could go public with what she had revealed to me about her marriage and work. In a year she sent me hundreds of messages of love, photos and videos, even a diary."
He also said he regrets involving the actor, who he told The Times had been "understanding" about the matter.