Anthony Albanese’s secret Italian brother has revealed for the first time that he has a close relationship with the prime minister and why the politician is unable to visit his Italian relatives in Australia.
Ruggerio Albanese, 52, who lives in the coastal town of Barletta in the Puglia region, first met his now famous Australian brother more than 12 years ago.
Since then, the couple have kept in touch via WhatsApp, where they share “funny things about their dogs and the beach” with other family members.
Anthony and Carlo Albanese met one last time in December 2013, with Carlo dying a month later after telling his eldest child that ‘he was glad we found each other’
When Mr Albanian won the federal election in May, the group chat exploded with congratulations from Italy, where his proud relatives followed the celebrations on TV.
‘Thank you very much x’ replied Mr. Albanese to the group chat. The family has heard nothing from him since then.
“It was a great joy for us, we are proud of Antonio,” Ruggerio told the Daily Telegram.
The electrician hopes Albanians will visit them in Italy soon as they are unable to visit Australia due to other commitments.
“It’s a bit impossible for us to go to Australia. My sister and I work a lot, busy working all day, just like him, and we also have a mother who is old (to take care of),’ he explained.
“I think he’s very busy because he’s a politician. When he started the mandate (as prime minister), the political engagement made him more powerful and important and so… (we didn’t see each other anymore). I think he’ll be visiting us soon.’
Anthony Albanese’s mother Maryanne (right) on the cruise ship Fairsky with the handsome Italian steward Carlo Albanese (standing, left) who secretly fathered her only son
Maryanne took Carlo’s name after their on-board romance and pretended to have died in a car accident. Pictured is the Sitmar liner Fairsky where the couple met
At the age of 14, Mr. Albanese discovered that his mother Maryanne had lied when she told him that his Italian-born father had died in a car accident years earlier.
She had met his father when he was working as a steward on the Sitmar liner Fairsky – where they had an affair despite being engaged to another woman.
Maryanne’s relationship with Carlo had been brief, but in conservative Australia in the early 1960s, she thought it wise to make up the fiction of marriage, take his surname, and claim she was a widow before their son was born. .
She returned to Australia and bravely raised Anthony alone at a time when there was no pension for single parents, wearing a wedding ring purely for show.
Anthony Albanese married Carmel Tebbutt in 2000 with mother Maryanne (right) next door
When Maryanne (above with Anthony) took him aside and told him the truth about his father, the young man didn’t want to go looking because ‘I didn’t want to do her a disservice’
Mr Albanese was finally able to track down his father in 2009 and showed him photos in a Barletta law firm to prove their family connection.
“The door opened, he walked in and opened his arms to me and was hugged,” Albanian said, tears in his eyes as he remembered the great moment.
“It was incredibly generous of him, I think, and it was a very poignant moment,” Albanian told Leigh Sales on ABC TV’s 7.30pm.
“He also brought, and I didn’t know I had them, my half-brother and half-sister, Ruggerio and Francesca.
Mr. Albanese visited Barletta four more times to meet his cousins and was able to introduce his own son Nathan to his grandfather.
Ruggerio revealed that his father had not known he had an illegitimate son until he saw the photos in 2009 and was deeply moved.
The half-brothers last saw each other in 2013, but Ruggerio hopes the prime minister (pictured Tuesday) will come to Barletta ‘soon’ to spend time with his cousins
Mr Albanese and his then wife Carmel Tebbutt and son Nathan meet his father, Carlo Albanese, in Italy in 2009
“They were both moved, they were crying,” he said.
“He was very happy about this. It wasn’t ugly, even if it wasn’t wanted, something good finally happened and he (Anthony) wanted to find his father.”
The half-brothers last saw each other in 2013, but Ruggerio hopes the prime minister will come to Barletta “soon” to spend time with his cousins.
Their father Carlo Albanese died in January 2014, after telling his oldest child a few months earlier that “he was glad we found each other.”