Call girls, audio tapes, barely legal teens, “gifts” of seats in the Italian Parliament for pretty girls … mamma mia! Four years of high school level Italian did not prepare me to make sense of this mess. Click through for a cheat sheet on why Italy’s head honcho, Silvio Berlusconi, has said, “I’m no saint.”
- Trouble started brewing this spring, when the 72-year-old prime minister attended an 18th birthday party for Noemi Letizia, a model in Naples. Eyebrows raised when it came out that Berlusconi gifted the young woman a gold and diamond necklace worth thousands of dollars. Then Letizia’s ex-boyfriend alleged he overhead saucy phone calls between the prime minister and the teen. Berlusconi denied any hanky-panky and said he is just a friend of her family.
- Shortly after Letizia’s party, paparazzi photographs emerged of naked and practically-naked guests, including ladies, partying at Berlusconi’s Sardinian villa. That in and of itself might be trouble enough, but soon enough some of the female guests spoke to reporters, saying they were paid to be naked guests at the PM’s abode.
- Earlier this month, Patrizia D’Addario, 42, a call girl, released three batches of audio tapes which she allegedly recorded during a night of passion with Berlusconi. On the tapes, D’Addario says prostitute-y things like, “Do you know how long it has been since I have had sex like we have had tonight?” and the man alleged to be Berlusconi suggests she masturbate.
- Newspapers have reported that Berlusconi allegedly tried to fill Parliament seats with actresses and showgirls from his television networks, including a Miss Italy contestant and a woman from “Big Brother.” Additionally, D’Addardio, the call girl, told a French newspaper that he offered her a seat on the European Parliament. (Hey, we believe more women should be in government, but not like this!)
- Not surprisingly, Berlusconi’s wife, Veronica Lario, filed for a divorce from her randy spouse in May. After rumors surfaced that he was fooling around with the 18-year-old whose b-day he attended, Lario released a statement to a news outlet: “It surprised me very much … because he never came to the 18th birthday of any of his children, even though he was invited.” Oh, snap!