Claims of defamation surface in Italian town over the enigmatic disappearance of an actor’s beloved feline.

An Italian actor is currently under investigation by prosecutors for various offenses, including defamation, stalking, and incitement to criminal activity. This investigation comes after the actor allegedly implicated his neighbors in the disappearance of his pet cat, Hiro. The small hilltop town where the actor resides has been in turmoil as a result of this widely-publicized search for the missing feline. The actor, Nino Frassica, who is known for his role in the Rai TV series Don Matteo, announced Hiro’s disappearance on Instagram in September, offering a reward of €5,000 for the safe return of his beloved white male cat. This announcement attracted people from all over Italy to come to the town to help in the search, some even bringing search dogs and drones. Despite their efforts, the cat remained missing, and the reward was doubled in October. However, the solidarity among the townspeople quickly turned into animosity, particularly after Frassica, his wife, and his wife’s daughter were accused by two local families of being involved in Hiro’s disappearance. This accusation caused a great deal of tension, with posters of the missing cat being mounted across Spoleto by an animal rights activist, further intensifying the situation. Local prosecutors launched an investigation after Frassica shared a video on social media in which he claimed Hiro was being held at one of the complainants’ addresses. The lawyer representing the complainants stated that the initial accusations against his clients came from Frassica’s wife and daughter, who are now also under investigation for the same offenses. According to the lawyer, the women visited the complainants’ homes based on suspicion that the cat was inside and involved the police. The campaign against the complainants escalated on social media after Frassica’s family returned to Rome, with thousands of threatening messages being generated as a result of a specific video. Lawyers for the Frassica family have remained tight-lipped about the investigation. Frassica is expected to return to Spoleto later this month to resume filming Don Matteo. The situation has caused turbulence in the town, and the complainants are feeling anxious, hoping that Frassica’s wife and daughter will not accompany him. Additionally, controversy has arisen regarding an upcoming ceremony in February where Frassica is set to receive the keys to the town as a symbol of trust and friendship. Some politicians are now demanding that this honor be revoked.

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