Berlusconi dismisses new escort claims as trash (Lead)

October 29th, 2010 - 12:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Milan, Oct 29 (IANS/AKI) Italy’s flamboyant Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Thursday dismissed as “media trash” allegations of sexual antics with various women, including a 17-year-old Moroccan girl called Ruby at his Milan villa during what he called “Bunga Bunga” nights.

Berlusconi replied to a question about the news reports during a press conference on the ongoing garbage crisis in the southern Italian city of Naples.

“I have a big heart and I try to help people in need,” Berlusconi said in comments broadcast live by Italy’s Sky TG24.

“But I’m here to talk about real trash, and I’ll leave the media trash to all of you.”

Italian newspapers Il Fatto Quotidiano and La Repubblica have carried stories in the last two days based on claims by Ruby, an aspiring showgirl, who said she visited 74-year-old Berlusconi’s villa in Arcore near Milan three times when she was 17.

Ruby, now an adult, claimed she and other women, who included escorts and several cabinet ministers, were at Berlusconi’s villa when the “Bunga Bunga” sex game was played. Berlusconi allegedly said Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi had taught him the game.

She claims he showered her with gifts of Rolex watches and Bulgari, Damiani and Dolce&Gabbana jewellery and clothes as well as over 150,000 euros in cash. He said he would buy her a beauty parlour and told Ruby to say she was the niece of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, the newspaper reports cited her as saying.

Ruby was part of a circle of aspiring models and actresses who were allegedly introduced to Berlusconi by a prominent show business agent, Lele Mora, and by prominent TV host Emilio Fede. Fede is 79.

The undocumented Moroccan teenager was picked up several times by police, suspected of theft and burglary. But each time, she was allegedly released after police received a call from the Italian cabinet offfice saying she was Mubarak’s niece.

Magistrates cautioned that the Moroccan woman’s claims could be part of a plot to blackmail the premier or an attempt to launch herself into the media spotlight.

Prosecutors are reported to be probing Mora, Fede and Berlusconi’s former dental hygienist, Nicole Minetti, for abetting prostitution.

Minetti was elected aged 25 as a councillor for the northern Lombardy region surrounding Milan.

Berlusconi’s lawyers Niccolo Ghedini and Piero Longo said in a statement Wednesday that the allegations reportedly made by Ruby were “unfounded”.

Berlusconi was previously linked to teenage Naples lingerie model Noemi Letizia, whose 18th birthday party he attended in 2008 and whom he gave a 6,000 euro gold and pearl pendant.

She said she called him ‘Papi’ meaning ‘Daddy’ in English.

Escort Patrizia D’Addario alleges she had sex with Berlusconi at his residence in Rome in November 2009. She released tapes of their encounter to media. Berlusconi has said he is “no saint” but has never paid a woman for sex or had “improper” relations.

–IANS/AKI
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