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Gessica Notaro: the Miss Italy finalist who was doused with acid by her vengeful ex-boyfriend

The 2007 Miss Italy finalist became another of the women who are assaulted or even killed by their partners

October 9, 2022 12:01pm

Updated: October 9, 2022 5:29pm

The life of Italian model Gessica Notaro, now 32 years old and a former finalist in the Miss Italy contest in 2007, changed completely after she was attacked by her ex-partner Edson Tavares in 2017.

Tavares, a young man from Cape Verde arrived in Italy a few years before the attack, met Notaro and  began a turbulent relationship, which she ended two years later.

But Taveres refused to leave his partner and devised a plan for revenge. For months, Tavares harassed Notaro, sending her constant messages, making many calls a day and even paid unexpected visits.

The model felt overwhelmed and decided to go to the police to report him for harassment. The Italian authorities filed a restraining order against the accused.

For a while, Notaro lived quietly and even started a new relationship, but that happiness would end after she was surprised one night by Tavares, who threw acid in her face.

"I knew it was acid, because I burned a lot," said the model, who was 28 at the time and had left the catwalk to train as a dolphin trainer. She met Tavares while working at an aquarium.

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Notaro was rushed to Cesena Hospital and at the time her prognosis was guarded. According to local media, her left eye was severely damaged in the attack. She also sustained serious injuries to her neck and legs.

Hours later, Tavares was arrested by the police after the young woman recognized him as her assailant. The man denied his involvement in the case, but through the geolocation of his phone, it was confirmed that he was at the scene at the time of the crime.

Finally, Tavares was sentenced to 10 years in prison and must leave Italy at the end of his sentence.

After staying in Cesena Hospital for recovery, Notaro underwent multiple surgeries to repair the damaged skin.

"I was in the hospital for two months in a closed room because I was at risk of contracting infections," the model said at the time.

Gradually, the victim recovered from her injuries and even participated in a reality show called "Dancing for a dream," started a career as a singer and prepared herself in the famous San Remo festival, a competition in which some performers of original songs, composed by Italian authors, receive votes from the jury or the public.

Notaro became a spokesperson for the fight against violence against women, and today, she has recovered from her injuries, although she still wears an eye patch due to the severe damage she suffered in that area.

Gessica Notaro became another of the women who are assaulted or even killed by their partners or former partners. In Italy, more than a hundred women are murdered every year.

Fast-File Reporter

Marielbis Rojas

Marielbis Rojas is a Venezuelan journalist and communications professional with a degree in Social Communication from UCAB. She is a news reporter for ADN America.