Colin Firth contacted police about his wife’s alleged stalker, but there was more to the story.

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This week it was made public that actor Colin Firth had asked Italian police to investigate a man accused of stalking his wife, Italian film producer Livia Giuggioli.

Just days after Italian newspaper La Repubblica broke the story, Giuggioli admitted to having a sexual relationship with the man previously described as a childhood friend turned stalker.

The alleged stalker, Italian journalist Marco Brancaccia, has denied he harassed the pair. He told The Times that the 48-year-old had made it all up in an effort to cover up their affair between 2015 and 2016.

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However, Firth and Giuggioli, who have been married since 1997 have a different take.

They say the “affair” happened while the couple were separated and the stalking took place after Giuggioli’s relationship with the 55-year-old ended.

“A few years ago Colin and Livia privately made the decision to separate,” a spokesperson said in a statement to The Times. “During that time Livia briefly became involved with former friend Mr Brancaccia. The Firths have since reunited.”

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“Subsequently, Mr Brancaccia carried out a frightening campaign of harassment over several months, much of which is documented.”

Brancaccia told The Times the “campaign” consisted of “two messages via WhatsApp after she ended our relationship in June 2016, and an email” and later a letter to Firth detailing their relationship, which he said prompted the stalking claims.

Police have said their investigation is ongoing.

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Firth and Giuggioli have two sons Luca, 16, and Matteo, 13 and live in a town two hours north of Rome, but spend time in London for the actor’s work.

They met in 1995 on the set of British-Italian miniseries Nostromo, in which Firth starred and Giuggioli worked as a production assistant.

The Oscar-winning actor has previously gushed about his wife in interviews. In 2011 he told Piers Morgan his wife was “the most beautiful woman in the world”.

In the same interview, years before their separation, Firth said that his then-15-year-marriage was going strong.

“We’ve made it 15 years together … I think that is pretty good going in Hollywood standards. And it’s going to go on forever.”

At the time he described a relationship as a “marathon” and one that takes work.

“You just navigate things on a daily basis,” he said. “We are crazy about each other. But the real secret is time – we have to make sure that we spend enough time together.

“Every relationship in life you’re going to have to take care of, there’s a marathon factor to it.”

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