A Belarusian model who is being sued by her older Italian prince boyfriend for taking advantage of him has denied being a gold-digger.
Prince Giacomo Bonanno di Linguaglossa, 51, struck up a romance with Tanya Yashenko, 35, in 2019 after meeting at a dinner party.
But the relationship turned sour when they both launched lawsuits against each other last year, despite claiming they are still together.
Mystery is surrounding the true nature of their relationship, with the Rome Public Prosecutor’s Office investigating both their claims while the couple profess to be happily in love.
It has led to allegations that the prince, a descendant of a Sicilian noble house, is being pressured into making public statements in support of his girlfriend, who is accused of exploiting his fragile mental state.
Ms Yashenko sued the prince last March, accusing him of stalking her after he showered her with gifts including a Mercedes worth £70,000, a £48,000 share in a Rome bed and breakfast, expensive jewellery and £15,000 for a Rome flat.
In December, Prince Giacomo launched his own legal action against Ms Yashenko, claiming he was traumatised after his ex-wife left him with his sons for the US, saying his new girlfriend took advantage by taking his money and assets.
The pair have since both back-pedalled, with the prince still regularly declaring his love on Facebook, and she insisting the pair are still dating ‘serenely’, despite both cases still being in the courts.
Prince Giacomo Bonanno di Linguaglossa, 51, struck up a romance with Tanya Yashenko, 35, in 2019 after meeting at a dinner party
The Italian prince is still publicly professing his love for his girlfriend on Facebook (pictured) despite the pair both engaged in lawsuits against the other
Ms Yashenko filed a lawsuit against the prince last March, accusing the prince of stalking her
Ms Yashenko said in a statement released through her lawyers on Wednesday: ‘With amazement and regret, I acknowledge that a violent media campaign against myself has been underway for some time, artfully fed, to make me look like an unscrupulous woman accustomed to a comfortable and carefree life dependent on wealthy men.
‘I reject with strength and indignation the tenor of these slanderous accusations by claiming my story as an independent and self-sufficient woman, who has carried out her life and work projects without the help of anyone and certainly even before meeting Giacomo, who has already denied the absurd accusations against me.
‘I want to specify that the relationship with my partner continues serenely, albeit compatibly with the great state of anxiety and exhaustion that this absurd and incomprehensible media persecution creates.’
Similarly, Prince Giacomo has tried to distance himself from his own lawsuit, posting on Facebook earlier this month: ‘I would like to publicly apologize to my partner Tanya Yashenko for my false statements.
Despite the public acrimony, the pair are still professing their love, with the prince posting daily Facebook posts about his ‘princess’
‘I didn’t quarrel with my girlfriend. Newspapers have exaggerated with their fantasies. I would like to explain that jealousy is a big reason for my actions.
‘But the gifts I gave I don’t want back… I apologize for my mistakes.’
Ms Yashenko previously hired a psychiatrist, Dr Rosalba Trabalzini, to give evidence on her behalf but the expert switched sides and now argues that the prince is the victim in the relationship.
The psychiatrist said the Belarusian ‘has been taking advantage of the psychological fragility of Linguaglossa’.
Ms Yashenko also sent texts to the prince calling him ‘dishonest, false, traitorous, deprived of empathy, mediocre [and] a liar’, according to Il Messaggero.
In her statement this week, the model added: ‘With this press release I warn anyone from disseminating false information about me and in particular Dr. Rosalba Trabalzini is warned against providing the media with false representations of the sentimental relationship that binds me to Giacomo and from disseminating information taken in the context of the professional relationship as a therapist of the couple.
Despite the ongoing legal battle, it was reported that Prince Giacomo Bonanno di Linguaglossa and Tanya Yashenko spent the Christmas holiday and New Year’s Eve together
‘Given the pending investigations by the judicial authority I do not intend to provide further statements, the rest pending the outcome of the investigations, having the utmost confidence in the judiciary and in my lawyers.’
Dr Trabalzini said in her assessment that the prince was in a state of awe towards his girlfriend and the relationship was ‘unbalanced’, which had been exacerbated by the devastating separation from his ex-wife.
But according to Corriere della Sera, Ms Yashenko said: ‘I was beaten and attacked by Giacomo and it was I who left him, then I forgave him.
‘But I am convinced that now he is being manipulated or ill advised by someone.’
The Rome Prosecutor’s Office is now weighing up whether she took advantage of his mental state to take possession of his assets.
Despite the public acrimony, the pair are still professing their love, with the prince posting daily Facebook posts about his ‘princess’.
He wrote yesterday, as his girlfriend’s statement was made public: ‘We love each other.’
He later posted: ‘Looking into your eyes is the part of the day.’
But the prince’s lawyer Armando Fergola says his client is facing constant pressure from his girlfriend to withdraw his complaint.
He says the Facebook posts show evidence of the manipulation and the royal’s state of confusion, and has asked the judge to forbid Ms Yashenko from making contact with her boyfriend.