Berlusconi to pay alimony of €100,000 a day
What compensation might a wife expect for 20 years and more of marriage to 76-year-old Silvio Berlusconi, the media tycoon, former prime minister of Italy and reportedly incorrigible womaniser?
Answer: €100,000 a day, according to a Milan court ruling formally registered over the Christmas period.
To maintain the former Mrs Berlusconi in the style to which Veronica Lario (56) had become accustomed as his wife, Mr Berlusconi must pay her €36 million alimony each year.
It is an indication of his vast wealth that the divorce agreement was “consensual”.
Since Ms Lario announced in May 2009 that she wanted a divorce, details of the settlement have been secret. Until this week, the ruling had remained a matter of speculation, something most unusual in a country where lawyers and court officials have a deserved reputation for leaking information.
While Mr Berlusconi is obliged to come up with a sizeable sum of money, he does not have to part with any property. He perhaps sees this ruling as the lesser of two evils. Had he contested the divorce he could have been forced into further days of embarrassment in a courtroom, where his alleged penchant for “bunga bunga” parties could again be aired.
In May 2009, in the wake of an incident involving 17-year-old Noemi Letizia, Ms Lario said she no longer wanted to live with a man “who consorted with minors”.
That came two years before the Barigate and Rubygate sex scandals, which involved alleged orgies with various call girls and TV wannabes.
As he prepares to contest next February’s general election, Mr Berlusconi can take little comfort from this ruling.