Woman claims she was Costa Concordia captain's lover

A woman who was on the bridge of the Costa Concordia cruise liner with its captain when it capsized last year has told an Italian court she had been his lover.

The Costa Concordia was recovered into an upright position last month, over a year and a half since it sank. Credit: PA

Domnica Cemortan had previously denied any affair with Captain Francesco Schettino, who faces multiple charges including manslaughter.

Cemortan has described Schettino as a "hero" and has said he deserved gratitude for bringing the ship nearer to shore rather than letting it sink out at sea.

Some 32 people died when the boat hit a reef and partially sank in January 2012, off the Tuscan island of Giglio. It had been carrying more than 4,000 passengers and crew.