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article imageCosta Concordia captain now vilified in Italy as coward and cheat

By Marcus Hondro     Feb 9, 2012 in World
The terrible tragedy that is the Costa Concordia has taken a turn for the sordid as Captain Francesco Schettino is now being attacked in Italy not only for his role in the disaster and abandoning his ship, but also for cheating on his wife.
These new accusations are connected to a ballet dancer from the small Eastern European country of Moldova who was working onboard the Costa Concordia. Domnica Cemortan, 25, is a focus of attention now as reports of her surprising testimony in front of the inquiry into the sinking of the ship have surfaced. So has a photo or her and the 52-year-old Captain in France together about to enjoy a seafood meal.
Testimony suggest Schettino having onboard romance
According to multiple reports in Italy and elsewhere, including the Mail Online in the U.K.., in her testimony last week Domnica told prosecutors that she was in love with Schettino and that she found him to be "charming and fascinating." Multiple reports also have it that clothing items of hers were taken from Schettino's cabin and brought to the surface by police divers.
She is now denying any of that is true and in an interview with the Italian magazine Oggi, says that there is no proof. "They are all lies. I wasn't born yesterday," Cemortan told the magazine. "The information was put out to put pressure on the captain."
"They want to isolate him, even from his family. I never said to magistrates 'I love Schettino'. They say they've found my bikini in his cabin. What have they found on this bikini that connects it to me? Was my name written on it, was there my photograph, or my DNA?"
Dancer on bridge of Costa Concordia
Cemortan is the woman who, days after the Jan. 13 disaster, came forward to claim she was on the bridge with the Captain - she has no official clearance to be there - at the time the ship hit the rocks. She claimed the Captain was the last to leave the liner and was a "hero." The dancer's account came out of nowhere, was uncorroborated and in opposition to many other accounts that suggested he left the ship early and refused to return when so ordered by the harbor authorities.
The married with children Schettino remains under house arrest awaiting his trial at his home near Naples. Seventeen bodies have been recovered from the ship and another 15 remain missing.
More about Francesco Schettino, The Costa Concordia, Domnica Cemortan, italian cruise ship disaster
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