Women say Berlusconi still paying them for being at parties
Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is still giving thousands of euros a month to aspiring showgirls who attend his colourful parties, a Milan court has been told yesterday.
Weakened by a sex scandal and graft and tax fraud allegations, Mr Berlusconi (76), was forced to resign a year ago as Italy came close to a Greek-style debt crisis.
The centre-right leader, who recently announced he would not run as candidate for prime minister in next year’s election, denies the charges and says there were no sex parties at his villa near Milan, just normal dinners.
Five women testifying in a trial, in which associates of Mr Berlusconi are accused of procuring prostitutes for him, said yesterday they were still receiving cash gifts from the media magnate.
In April, Mr Berlusconi told reporters on the sidelines of a hearing that he was still giving money to the small army of women involved in the “bunga bunga” sex party case out of generosity, because they had been ruined and dishonoured by the bad publicity surrounding the trial. – (Reuters)