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Italian Premier Berlusconi in Prostitute Scandal

Italian Premier Berlusconi in Prostitute Scandal

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s political career is in jeopardy in the face of accusations that he had sex with a ‘significant’ number of prostitutes at parties he hosted last year. The media mogul—Berlusconi owns a TV empire and is, according to Forbes, the third richest man in Italy— is also accused of providing apartments for women in exchange for sex at a housing complex he built in Milan in the 1970s before he became premier, the January 17th Guardian reports.  Italian opposition parties are calling for Berlusconi to resign over the scandal, today’s New York Times reports.

Berlusconi is already being investigated in a teenage prostitution case, in which he is accused of paying for sex with Karima el-Mahroug, a Moroccan belly dancer known as Ruby Rubacuori, when she was 17. While prostitution is legal in Italy, ‘exploiting or aiding prostitution with minors’ is a crime. El-Mahroug has said that, while the premier gave her euro 7,000 ($9,000) to help her, she did not have sex with him. She has also said that she was ‘among a bevy of young women invited to parties at Berlusconi’s Arcore villa near Milan’; at that time, she said she was 24 years old, so Berlusconi and the others would not know she was a minor. According to information from wiretaps published today in the Italian press, Berlusconi offered el-Mahroug 5 million euros ($6.7 million) to keep quiet

Prosecutors in Milan have accused Berlusconi of abusing his political position as Italy’s prime minister to put pressure on police to cover up his relationship with el-Mahroug. 

Berlusconi has denied the accusations. He could face up to 15 years in prison for the alleged offenses.  Prosecutors would like to question Berlusconi later this week; he could, though, invoke protection from such in his role as premier.

A number of Berlusconi’s associates allegedly helped him procure the prostitutes including Nicole Minetti, a half-British former showgirl who (according to the January 14th Guardian) became Berlusconi’s dental hygienist and then regional parliamentarian for his Freedom People movement; a longtime executive in Berlusconi’s private TV empire; and a talent agent for entertainment programs.

With his media empire, personal wealth, and political ambitions, Berlusconi has sometimes been compared to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Berlusconi’s entrance into Italian politics as in 1994 was rapid and surrounded with controversy. He became a Member of Parliament for the first time in 1994 and was appointed as Prime Minister following the March 1994 snap parliamentary elections. Berlusconi was separated from his second wife, actress Veronica Lario, in 2009. Lario has cited his ’frequenting of “minors” and “infatuation” with young women’ as the reasons for her ending the marriage—-and the same seem likely to be reasons for the end of Berlusconi’s political career, too.

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Photo by Alessio85.

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53 comments

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6:05AM PDT on Apr 5, 2011

Berlusconi is so pathetic, he has to pay for sex in order to make himself feel better about who he is... Sad...He is giving Italy a bad reputation around the world. Speaking as a gay man, he is probably gay behind all that bravado. Its ok Silvio, we dont want you anyway.;0)

3:41PM PST on Feb 11, 2011

Isn't this the smae guy who admitted to orgies and told people his wife loved it and it was non of their damn business? good for him.

12:32AM PST on Jan 27, 2011

Yeah, that is why Italy changes governments so frequently, corruption! Tie a knot in your dick and run your country, Berlusconi, or get out of politics and run a brothel.

9:35PM PST on Jan 23, 2011

noted and thanx for article :0

11:38PM PST on Jan 22, 2011

Politics are the same all over the world. Crazy

2:13PM PST on Jan 22, 2011

Reading Marco's last comment gives me shivers in the back: just happy to be away from all that. Sometimes I have flash-backs on the huge distortion of the information I experienced in Italy.
Although I fear Italy will never honour its agreement with me: I paid so many years of contributions for my pension and after I left they retro-actively changed the law and now they say I can't have anything at all. Absolutely disgraceful. I need to find a lawyer to help me to do the appropriate requests to connect those contributions with the English ones. Luckily we are all in the EU: sometimes I feel as if Italy were in another galaxy: I have been after all this for 11 years: it's pretty surreal, they constantly gave me wrong information and never put anything in writing. I hope a lawyer will be able to help me but I don't hold my breath for my contributions. Italy is legalised dishonesty. The injustice is so great that it's difficult to explain.

3:49AM PST on Jan 22, 2011

Marco Galli explains well what happens in Italy these days.
Following his posts and those of Renata B. can give you a complete ida of what is going in.

2:39AM PST on Jan 22, 2011

I would like you to feel the atmosphere there is, here in Italy, respect to this situation.
In all the television channels, but two (those not controlled by B. or his government), we arrived at the paradox, it seems to be in North Korea: Or nothing has happened, or trying to blame the (judges coup leaders) for having made their work, (investigated and opened an inquiry).
Or shouting their indignation, curse the investigators for having violated the sacred privacy of a man above the those laws that relate to ordinary human beings.
The Vatican is doing verbal contortions not to seem hypocritical in its positions (trying in every way not to directly accuse B of immoral behavior), but with the usual moralism (one way) of those who prefers to keep silent, that their responsibilities, revealing the usual conspiratorial attitude, compassionate to the more conservative leaders, absolutely guaranteed of the power and obstinately refusing even the evidence of the facts.

5:08PM PST on Jan 20, 2011

he can not hold his latin blood and is giving bad about it, he sees no problem with this behavior and his political enemies are taking advantage of their weakness

3:10PM PST on Jan 20, 2011

Did he use a condom ?

Regards...

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
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