A married history teacher slept with at least five pupils at one of South Africa‘s most elite schools, an investigation has revealed.
Fiona Viotti, 30, who is the niece of former South African national rugby coach Nick Mallett, was found to have slept with the boys at Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town between 2013 and 2019.
The school called in lawyers to investigate Viotti after an 18-year-old pupil claimed he had been involved in an ‘intense’ sexual relationship with her, saying she became controlling when he tried to end it.
Viotti, who also coached the water polo team, resigned suddenly in October just days before the allegations were made public.
Investigators hired by the school found that she had been bedding pupils for at least six years, targeting boys who were over the age of consent.
The affairs took place both before and after she married 32-year-old venture capitalist Pavo Viotti in 2018, a report into the scandal said.
Ms Viotti is also known to have filmed explicit videos of herself which were circulated within the school and online, but investigators failed to determine who she initially sent the footage to.
The probe found that she breached school codes and the code of ethics laid down by the SA Council of Educators, likely meaning she will never teach again.
However, she will not face any disciplinary action from the school since she has already resigned, local media reported.
The report cleared other school officials of wrongdoing, saying there is no evidence they knew of her behavior.
But Viotti could still face civil lawsuits by families of boys who were affected. Ms Viotti is not alleged to have broken any laws.
She has not spoken publicly since news of the scandal broke, and also refused to comment to investigators – either in person or in writing.
Lawyer William Booth has previously said that she is receiving psychiatric help.
Mr Viotti is said to have separated from his wife and has also refused to comment.
The scandal came to light in October when an 18-year-old sixth form pupil claimed to have been involved in an ‘intense’ sexual relationship with his teacher.
He claimed that when he tried to end the affair she refused to accept it and pestered him to carry it on.
The teenager then informed his parents, who called in a lawyer.
One of the boy’s parents told IOL website: ‘He was a willing participant in the beginning but became a victim when he couldn’t get out of it.
‘The teacher started texting him to come to her house on the campus and that’s how it started but it got to the stage where he had had enough.
‘But the teacher wouldn’t let him go and he went to his parents for help and they went to the headmaster.’
Headmaster Guy Pearson said: ‘The school will consider all the findings and recommendations made by the investigators to ensure we continue to make Bishops a safe environment for all our pupils and teachers.
‘As a school we are deeply saddened by these events and remain committed to ensuring the mental health and well being of those affected and no further details of the findings will be made available’.
The school also revealed that it has made a team of psychologists and psychiatrists available to any boy or family member that may have been affected by the events surrounding the disgraced teacher.
The teacher’s uncle Nick Mallett , 62, was a former Springbok who played at No 8 and who went on to coach rugby for South Africa and Italy and who is now a Supersport TV rugby commentator.
Viotti’s father Dave Mallett is also a history teacher at the same Christian church school and coaches the rugby 1st XV.
Her grandfather Anthony was a former headmaster at the same school.
English born housemaster Dave, who is still teaching at the school, previously sent a message to parents saying his family faced ‘tough times ahead’.
Bishop’s Diocesan College is a private school founded in 1849 by Bishop Robert Gray to teach Christian values and educate the sons of colonialists in Cape Town and costs £15,000 a year to attend.
Former pupils include astronaut Mark Shuttleworth and South African cricket star Herschelle Gibbs.
Viotti is a former model, was a water polo star as a teenager and was one of the ‘Beauties of Sport’ featured in Sports Illustrated in 2009 – a year after she met her future husband.
The couple fell in love in 2008 while backpacking in Vail, Colorado, in 2008 and their adventures took them to South America, Europe and South East Asia before they returned together to Cape Town.
They were married in September last year in a white wedding in Plettenberg Bay and seemed the perfect couple and were planning a family together until the church school scandal hit the news.