Berlusconi still paying girls at centre of sex scandal

MILAN Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:35am IST

Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi listens during a news conference at Villa Gernetto in Gerno near Milan October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo/Files

Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi listens during a news conference at Villa Gernetto in Gerno near Milan October 27, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Garofalo/Files

Related Topics

MILAN (Reuters) - Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is still giving thousands of euros a month to aspiring showgirls who attended his colourful parties, a Milan court heard on Friday.

Weakened by a sex scandal and graft and tax fraud allegations, Berlusconi, 76, was forced to resign a year ago as Italy came close to a Greek-style debt crisis.

But 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.

On Friday, five women testifying in a trial in which associates of Berlusconi are accused of procuring prostitutes for him said they were still receiving cash gifts from the media magnate.

"Silvio Berlusconi still gives me 2,500 euros a month," said Elisa Toti, one of the girls who allegedly took part in the so-called "bunga bunga" sex parties.

She said the former premier had also helped her buy a house and a car, but denied having been paid to have sex with him.

The other women heard by the court also said they were receiving similar amounts from Berlusconi on a monthly basis.

In April, 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.

In a separate but related trial, he is accused of allegedly paying for sex with an underage prostitute and of abusing his power to have her released from police custody. (Reporting By Sara Rossi; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Countering China

Countering China

PM Modi to ramp up help for Indian Ocean nations to counter China influence  Full Article 

'India's Daughter'

'India's Daughter'

Society created Delhi gang rape convicts: Filmmaker Leslee Udwin.  Full Article | Related Story 

Kohli Censured

Kohli Censured

BCCI warns Virat Kohli against repeat of misbehaviour.  Full Article 

MUDRA Bank

MUDRA Bank

Funding the unfunded: India helps small business borrow to grow  Full Article 

PML(N)'s Hope

PML(N)'s Hope

Pakistan's ruling party looks for gains in upper house election  Full Article 

For Women's Right

For Women's Right

Afghan men don burqas, take to the streets for women's rights.  Full Article 

U.S. Envoy Attacked

U.S. Envoy Attacked

Knife-wielding attacker slashes face of U.S. ambassador in South Korea  Full Article 

New Strategy

New Strategy

Ashwin mulls 'one-sided' ploy against big-hitters.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage