Italy, March 17: A parade of models and TV showgirls were yesterday named among 33 women alleged to have been paid for sex by Silvio Berlusconi. Prosecutors claim he bedded 16-year-old ’Ruby the Heart Stealer’ 13 times
The fresh list of glamorous women linked to the billionaire Italian prime minister by prosecutors included 25-year-old Manuela and Marianna Ferrera, brunette twins who present the weather on Italian TV in skimpy clothing.
Others named were Maylin Aguirre, 28, who was nominated as Italy’s candidate for Miss World, and 18-year-old beauty queen Ambra Battilana.
Berlusconi yesterday laughed off the allegations he had sexual relations with 33 women – including a 16-year-old – telling Italian newspaper La Repubblica: ‘Do you really think all this is possible?
‘I am 75 (in September) and even though I am a bit of a mischievous one ... 33 girls in two months is too many, even for a 30-year-old. It’s too many for anybody.’
While the politician and media tycoon, 74, admits making payments to the women, he claimed they were merely altruistic gifts, not payments for sex.
He said: ‘Do you really think I am going to pay for sex with bank transfers? I am like a charity. I pay for surgery, dentist bills, university fees and anything else needed. Some of those bank transfers were to pay the mortgages of the parents of one of the girls. They were in dire straits.’
Berlusconi added of the claims he invited the women to ‘bunga bunga’ sex parties at his house: ‘They (prosecutors) have named 33 women who will spend the rest of their lives with the mark of being prostitutes.
‘Instead they are just ladies whose only crime was to take part in dinners hosted by the prime minister where there were also three musicians and six waiters present. They were elegant dinners.
Defiant: The Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has claimed that he did nothing untoward at his infamous ’bunga bunga’ parties
‘The girls would then have a dance in the disco – on their own because I don’t like dancing. Nothing else. Then all this comes out – it’s unbelievable.’
Berlusconi claimed an unnamed girlfriend – whose existence he revealed only earlier this year – was always present at the parties, adding: ‘If I had done everything I am said to have done she would have gouged my eyes out and I assure you she has long nails.’
Ruby the Heart Stealer: Karima El Mahroug was 16 when Berlusconi allegedly slept with her
Long-suffering: The 74-year-old’s wife, Veronica Lario, is in the process of divorcing Berusconi
Berlusconi is accused of paying for sexual relations with a girl under the legal age limit for prostitution in Italy, which is 18, and abusing his position as prime minister to have the girl, a Moroccan-born belly dancer known as Ruby Heartstealer, released from custody for theft last May.
His trial is scheduled to start next month, and if found guilty he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail.