The Prime Minister’s 11-year-old daughter Etoile Muscat has spoken publicly for the first time about how she had dealt with allegations that her mother was the owner of the mysterious Panama company Egrant.
“We used to get small jibes at school and hear certain things being said on TV, so yes, we were a bit worried,” Etoile said in a family interview on Xarabank. “It was like living in a reality TV show. The worst case scenario would enter my mind and I would ask myself whether my parents could end up jailed for a crime they didn’t commit. I couldn’t sleep at night sometimes, I was that scared.”
Joseph Muscat, who was cleared of wrongdoing by a magisterial inquiry, said the Egrant saga has scarred his entire family.
“We knew the truth from the start and didn’t need an inquiry to tell us that, but when we saw how people reacted after the inquiry, we realised that some of them had allowed a seed of doubt to plant inside their minds,” he said. “It’s a closed chapter now and we’ve moved on, but it’s like cutting your hand with a knife. At first, you think the blood will never stop gushing out, and when it does eventually stop, the wound leaves a scar. This experience has left us scars that will remain with us for the rest of our lives.”
His wife Michelle said she realised even those closest to them had allowed themselves to wonder whether the Egrant story, which was first published by now-assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, could in fact be true.
“The damage was done and although the inquiry has been concluded, we are still suffering as a result of it and some people still call me Mrs Egrant,” she said. “However, the important thing is that my conscience is clean and that we’re living in peace.”