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Tuesday 2 September 2014

The Italian beauty at the centre of Eddie Irvine’s ‘club brawl’

Former Formula One star unlikely to serve time despite six-month jail sentence

Published 10/01/2014 | 13:20

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Giorgia Re pictured with Eddie Irvine

THIS is the Italian woman that Eddie Irvine was talking to when he got involved in a nightclub brawl.

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Formula One star Eddie Irvine has been sentenced to six months in prison over a fight in Milan, but he is unlikely to spend a single day in jail.

He was found guilty of “mutual injury” after a brawl over a woman, Giorgia Re, in a Milan nightclub.

Mr Irvine (48) claimed he was innocent and said he was merely defending himself from Gabriele Moratti.

A court was told that Northern Irishman Mr Irvine was attacked from behind by Mr Moratti, the son of a former Italian education minister and mayor of Milan.

The former racing driver said he lost his balance and fell after being punched three times.

After Mr Moratti was also sentenced to six months, Mr Irvine’s lawyer Marco Baroncini said his client was the “partial winner”. “I know Eddie proposes to appeal,” he added.

“We'll appeal to prove that his reaction was not excessive.”

With both men likely to appeal, legal experts in Italy have indicated that the case will probably be declared null and void as the statute of limitations expires at the end of 2015.

Prior to the ruling, witnesses told the court that both parties had acted as protagonists in the row, which was alleged to have started when Mr Moratti became jealous that Irvine was talking to his ex-girlfriend.

Mr Moratti claimed that Mr Irvine threw a glass at him and that he sustained an injury to the face, where he still has scarring above the eye. Irvine, meanwhile, is said to have suffered a perforated eardrum.

The former F1 driver spent the most high-profile years of his professional career in Italy, racing for Ferrari, where he was team-mate to the seven-times world champion, Michael Schumacher.

Irvine is known to be a fan of Milan, visiting the northern Italian city regularly.

He is a regular on the VIP scene and is said to spend much of his time in Miami, Monaco and Italy. Last year, a rich list estimated his fortune at around €100m.

After the ruling, the judge passed on the court records to the public prosecutor, who has been asked to investigate for evidence of perjury as several of the witnesses are thought to have given false declarations.

 

Colin O’Brien

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