‘They were thinking about themselves’

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 12 April 2015 | 23.08

Four sisters taken from their Australian mother and forced to live with their Italian father. An exclusive 60 Minutes interview, Sunday 8.30pm on Nine.

At peace ... The girls have a new life back in Italy. Picture: 60 Minutes Source: Supplied

AFTER being caught in the middle of one of the most bitter and public parental disputes in living memory, the Italian sisters have told their side of the story.

Three years after worldwide hysteria engulfed their family, the Vincenti sisters have broken their silence about the father they love, their happy lives in Italy and what they describe as the selfishness their parents showed during the ordeal.

Happy ... Claire and Emily say their parents were thinking about themselves. Picture: 60 Minutes Source: Supplied

Claire, Emily, Christine and Lily Vincenti were taken from their home in Italy by their Australian mother in 2010 and thrust into an ugly and public battle.

Their mother Laura Garrett, now aged 35, had Australian passports made for the girls after telling authorities they were fleeing their father, Tomasso Vincenti.

But her story came undone and the girls were returned to their father in 2012 after a hysterical and tearful goodbye that was broadcast to the world.

Speaking to Tara Brown on 60 Minutes, the two eldest sisters said the ugly ordeal was behind them.

"I think they were thinking more about themselves than us, you know, because we were put at the centre of this whole situation, and … I don't know, they were a little bit selfish," Claire Vincenti said.

"Because you know, we went through all of this — I mean, they did as well, but it was most hard for us than them, 'cause, you know, they're the adults."

The girls want to set the record straight about the emotion that surrounded their departure from Australia. They were never scared to return to their father in Italy, despite what they may have said at the time.

"If I think about it now, maybe I've said stuff that … I exaggerated a little bit, and that was just because I was liking my life in Australia and that was just because I didn't want to leave," Claire said.

Settled in Italy ... The girls are leading a normal life in Italy. Picture: 60 Minutes Source: Supplied

The girls didn't know their father had been told they were on holiday in Australia.

They said it was hard to settle back into life in Italy after having been moved to the Sunshine Coast only a few years earlier. But they are happy to be reunited with their father and building a relationship with him.

The girls describe a calm and happy life in the Tuscan hills with their father. They are finishing school, dating boyfriends and still keeping in touch with their mother, who they haven't seen since they left Australia in October 2012.

"Probably we're going to see her this summer, she's coming to visit us," Emily said, adding that she felt very happy about the reunion.

The sisters said they were hopeful of a future that included both parents.

"I'm happy with my life. You know, Australia's very far away, but I would like to you know, do both, them both, go visit Mum and her family and stay a little bit here with Dad," Claire said.


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