The daughter of a former Italian crime boss has described her father being there to celebrate her 50th birthday as 'amazing' - after he came out of hiding to attend her party.
Mafia 'princess' Marisa Merico took over as leader of the infamous 'Milan Ndrangheta' gang aged 22, while her father gave her orders from a prison cell in the late 1980s and 90s.
The Sunday Mirror reported that reformed Emilio Di Giovine, 70, recently flew into Manchester Airport from an unknown location where he has been in hiding since informing on his fellow gang members almost three decades ago.
It was the first time he he's left Italy, with Marisa previously travelling to see him, her most recent visit being six years ago.
The pair cried and held each other during their reunion, before heading to a country house near his daughter's home in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, for a party - where Marisa wore a Versace dress.
Mafia Princess Marisa Merico and her father Emilio Di Giovine, 70, were reunited as he left Italy for the first time in 27 years to celebrate Marisa's 50th birthday
Marisa also spoke candidly about the day she married henchman Bruno Merico, and narrowly escaped death.
Had her father been in the car to give her away, she says, two armed men on bikes would have destroyed the vehicle to kill him - and they wouldn't have thought twice about shooting her in the cross-fire.
'There were times when I was in dangerous situations. The most was my wedding,' she said.
'There were not only the police but two men with bikes who would have shut down the car had my father been there to give me away.'
Marisa took over as leader of the Milan Ndrangheta gang aged just 22 as her father gave her orders from a prison cell in the 1990s (pictured together when she was a baby)
Thankfully they had decided it would be too dangerous for Emilio to attend, and he missed the wedding, making a reunion for Marisa's 50th even more poignant.
About him being with her for her birthday she said: 'I can’t believe he is here, where I have lived most of my life. It’s surreal.'
Marisa went public with her story after turning her back on crime following a two years and nine months stint in HM Prison Durham for using laundered Mafia money to buy a £1.6million