A young Moldovan dancer who was on the bridge of the Costa Concordia cruise liner with Captain Francesco Schettino when it capsized last year told an Italian court on Tuesday she had been his lover.
Domnica Cemortan had previously denied any affair with Schettino, who faces multiple charges including manslaughter, and her confession may prompt prosecutors to query the quality of her testimony, which had shown him in a positive light.
Cemortan has described Schettino as a “hero” and has said he deserved gratitude for bringing the ship nearer to shore rather than letting it sink out at sea.
Some 32 people died when the boat hit a reef and partially sank on Jan. 13, 2012, off the Tuscan island of Giglio. It had been carrying more than 4,000 passengers and crew.
At Tuesday’s hearing, the second day of witness testimony in Schettino’s trial, Cemortan initially refused to say whether she had a “love story” with the captain, who is married.
After being warned she faced contempt of court charges if she did not reply, Cemortan said, in Romanian through an Italian translator: “Yes, I had a relationship with him.”