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Sunday 12 April 2015

Vincenti Sisters: 60 Minutes - Their Side of the Story

Remember the four Vincenti sisters?

Photo: screenshot, 60 Minutes
Their story - and that of their Australian mother Laura Garrett and Italian father Tommaso Vincenti - was one the most talked about custody disputes - and international child abduction cases - in 2012.

When their daughters were just children, the entire country saw news footage of them being forcibly taken from their mother and returned to an Italian father they said they were afraid of.


But now, the two eldest daughters have given a revealing interview to Tara Brown from 60 Minutes Australia… and that conversation may make you rethink everything you thought you knew about this high profile case.

Here are the girls - Emily and Claire Vincenti, now aged 16 and 17 - as they appeared on 60 Minutes tonight:

Photo: 60 Minutes report tonight, Claire and Emily Vincenti

But first, a reminder of what Laura said in 2012:

“He’s a very scary man. Anyone who’s been in an abusive relationship perhaps will understand the fear that a person has over you. If they’re violent and they hurt you and they’re abusive, you’re always scared they’re going to do it again, and that’s the power he’s had over the girls and me,” the girls’ mother Laura Garrett said at the time.
Here is Laura as she appeared on 60 Minutes in 2012:
Photo: Laura Garrett on 60 Minutes in 2012

At the time, Claire had told the Australian media she was scared of her father. She said back then: “The reason we don’t want to go back go with our dad back in Italy is because we’re scared of him.”
But tonight on 60 Minutes she told Tara Brown that was not true: “Well, I mean, none of that has happened.”
She added: “The whole situation – that we were hiding and our story was on the newspapers and… I mean, mmm, 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."
The girls told Tara they thought their parents had handled the situation badly back then, and were putting their own needs ahead of theirs.
“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 dunno, they were a little bit selfish, 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,” Claire revealed to Tara.
“I’m happy with my life,” added Claire. “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.”
Emily agrees: “You know, go for holidays over in Australia, or here in Italy – do half and half, not just with one.”
“Yeah, ‘cause we need both of them, obviously.”
As a post-script, Tara added that the girls' mother came to Italy to visit a few days after the recording of the 60 Minutes interview, for three days, despite earlier having told the girls (as they revealed to Tara tonight) they had not seen their mother in the years they had been brought back to Italy, and she was planning to come visit them perhaps this summer - her uni studies and work had prevented her from coming sooner.
What did you think of the story tonight? Did you watch?
For the 60 Minutes report check back in here.

For 'Extra Minutes' on the report, click here.

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