For Gianluca Cervara and Anna Zayachkivska, the first months of their marriage should have been the happiest time of their life. One day, though, Anna apparently vanished into thin air. Then, months later, while browsing Instagram, Gianluca found something that would take his breath away.
Anna Zayachkivska and Gianluca Cervara seemed to have a normal relationship, though Anna was just 23 years old when she met Gianluca, who was some 20 years her senior. The pair were first introduced at a mutual friend’s birthday celebration in mid-2015.
Anna, who won Miss Ukraine in 2013, had just moved to Milan to pursue a modeling career. She had previously worked on campaigns for Ralph Lauren and walked the runway for Armani. With Anna standing at just under six feet tall, it’s easy to understand why Gianluca fell for the Ukrainian beauty. For his part, Gianluca apparently worked for Geox shoes, although Anna later admitted that she was never entirely sure what his role was.
The couple seemed to be blissfully in love. Anna had only had one previous romantic partner and said that Gianluca was the first great love of her life. And, having been alone in a new country, Anna recalled that she had longed for someone to love her. In the beginning, then, Gianluca seemed perfect.
Fast-forward to the summer of 2016, and everything appeared to be on track for the couple. However, all was not as it seemed. Having recently gotten married in a registry office, they were planning to have a traditional church wedding a short time later. That was, until the day that everything changed.
One night in July 2016, Anna apparently told her husband that she needed to go on a walk to get some fresh air. Then she disappeared. And when she failed to return, Gianluca called the police to report that his wife was missing. He apparently feared that she might have been kidnapped.
However, what Gianluca found online several months later would make him re-evaluate their entire relationship. After looking at Anna’s Instagram, Gianluca discovered a recent photo of her in New York – and she looked happy and well.
What’s more, she was with another man. Devastated, then, Gianluca commented on the photo by saying, “Your husband in Milan and parents say thank you for be in New York with address of another Man. Wooooow, married, escape without tell and with fake address in New York!!”
However, Anna fought back – and she had a very different story to tell. According to the former Miss Ukraine, Gianluca was neglectful and cruel. Indeed, he had kept her in a “golden cage.” What’s more, Anna claimed that he had been abusing her for months. That was until she finally plucked up the courage to leave.
And the model did not remain quiet about the abuse that she said she had received. “The first time when he did it, I ran away to my parents’ house in the western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk,” the Daily Mirror quoted her as saying. “I did not tell them what the matter was.”
“He came to get me, and I gave him a second chance, but during an argument he spat in my face, and I simply could not take it,” she said. Anna also recalled another instance where Gianluca had acted violently towards her.
While hosting a dinner party for friends, in which she served lobster, Anna said that Gianluca suddenly turned on her. The argument apparently began after she complained about his bawdy friends. According to Anna, this pushed him over the edge.
“He threw the lobster against the wall and the rest of the food in the toilet,” The Sun quoted her as saying. “He grabbed me by the neck and threw me on the floor.” And though she did not go to the police, Anna said that she knew she had to get out. “I married this man, but I knew nothing about him,” she explained.
What’s more, she said that she had written a note before leaving – so Gianluca was fully aware that she had left him. “If I stayed, he would kill me – if not physically, then my spirit,” she told The Sun.
Gianluca, however, has denied all of the claims made against him. “She has lots of pretty photos taken in five-star hotels, [now] she is posing with other men,” he told The Sun. “She does not look unhappy at all.”
He went on to say that Anna had stolen large amounts of money and a cell phone before leaving. He also told the press that Anna is “not the person she is pretending to be.” Anna later denied that she had stolen any money. In fact, she said she had chosen to leave all her possessions behind. This was no small matter, as her belongings included paintings and jewelry as well as her diamond wedding ring.
Anna had first taken a train to Rome. She then decided to travel on to New York to be certain that she had escaped her husband. There, she managed to find a friend to stay with in Brooklyn. She added, though, that she would have “slept at a McDonald’s” or “stayed on the street” to escape Gianluca.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Anna revealed that she had asked for a divorce from her husband, although Gianluca was reluctant to comply. In the meantime, Anna planned to stay in New York and get a work visa so that she could continue to pursue her modeling career.
Anna took advantage of the media attention to speak up about the seriousness of domestic abuse. She has also been vocal about her belief that women in similar situations should have the courage to leave their partners.
“Freedom is more important than anything,” The Sun quoted her as saying. “I want every woman to know that she can leave a bad husband. Every woman deserves to be happy.”