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Dancer: 'I am not the captain's lover'

A MOLDOVAN dancer who was being wined and dined by the captain of the Costa Concordia on the night the ship capsized has denied claims she is his lover.

Domnica Cemortan (25) (below) was seen enjoying dinner with Francesco Schettino just 30 minutes before the liner careered into rocks off the Italian island of Giglio.

She was also seen on the bridge of the ship alongside the captain as the chaotic evacuation got under way.

Her apparently close relationship with the 51-year-old has led Italian investigators to question whether the collision may have been a result of him sailing too close to the land in order to show off.

But she last night vehemently denied there was anything improper in their relationship.

"I am not the captain's lover. You know why? He was always showing me photos of his daughter when she was little. A man who wants a lover does not behave like that."

Passengers claimed they had seen Ms Cemortan and the captain sharing a decanter of wine at around 9pm last Friday.

But while admitting to having dinner with several of the ship's officers, Ms Cemortan insisted the captain was not with them.

"It's false to claim that the captain was with us," she said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent