Berlusconi's girlfriend says she proposes every day
Speculation rife that former prime minister is to wed ex-TV starlet Francesca Pascale
Italian former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (right), flanked by his girlfriend Francesca Pascale. Photograph: Alberton Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images
Will true love triumph over all? Is there any truth to insistent media speculation that 77-year-old Silvio Berlusconi is about to marry his “official” girlfriend, 28-year-old Francesca Pascale?
Last week, the local newspaper from the island of Ischia, “Il Golfo”, reported that the media tycoon and former prime minister will marry Ms Pascale next June. The choice of Ischia, in the Bay of Naples, as the marriage venue was reportedly an acknowledgement of Ms Pascale’s Neapolitan roots.
Asked about the reports, Mr Berlusconi last week denied the reports, saying that he was “too old”. However, the speculation refuses to go away, partly because of interviews given by Ms Pascale to various Italian media. On Sunday, she told Rome daily, Il Fatto Quotidiano that she asks Mr Berlusconi to marry her just about every day:
“I just want to be at his side, always…I am ready to give up on everything, I don’t want any of his wealth…I have already told him that from you I want only one thing…I want only the warmth of your arms around me…Every day I ask him for his hand in marriage, for me that is real parity of the sexes…”, she is quoted as saying.
Ms Pascale, who first came to public attention as a bikini-dressed starlet on Neapolitan TV channel, TeleRubbish, has lived with Mr Berlusconi since 2011. TV footage, widely available on the web, shows Ms Pascale dancing on the beach as she promotes ice cream. Observers point out, however, that over the last 18 months, she has assumed increasing importance in the day to day life and affairs of Mr Berlusconi, particularly by controlling access to the centre-right leader.
A long-time follower of Mr Berlusconi, Ms Pascale founded the “We Miss You Silvio” committee, an electoral support group for his People of Freedom (PDL) Party, whilst she was also elected for the PDL onto the council of the Province of Naples.
Speculation about a possible marriage to Mr Berlusconi follows hard on the heels of the official confirmation, just last month, of his divorce from his second wife, former actress, Veronica Lario. Given his huge wealth - US magazine Forbes estimates his personal wealth at approximately €5 billion euro - the arrival of a third wife in Mr Berlusconi’s life could cause huge complications, especially with his five children by his two marriages.
Despite that consideration, media reports insist that Ms Pascale is serious about her marriage intentions. So much so that she has reportedly rowed with Mr Berlusconi in the wake of his alleged recent contacts with other young ladies.
Ms Pascale says simply: “Listen, we argue every day about everything from television to politics…and I am very jealous of the man I love…the lovely thing is, though, that before we go to sleep, we always make up and we embrace one another with a big smile.”