Italy PM blames wife, media for marriage bust-up

May 4th, 2009 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, May 4 (DPA) Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says his wife owes him a public apology after falling for a “media trap” that led her to seek a divorce.
Berlusconi made the remark in a newspaper interview published Monday, a day after Veronica Lario said she intended to end her 19-year-long marriage to the media-mogul-turned-politician.

When asked by Milan daily Corriere della Sera if reconciliation with his wife was still possible, Berlusconi replied: “I don’t think so. I don’t know if I want it this time.”

“Veronica will have to apologise to me in public, and I don’t know if that would be enough,” Berlusconi was quoted as saying.

The break-up between the 72-year-old premier and the 52-year-old former actress has rocked Italy, beginning when Lario last week publicly rebuked Berlusconi for including showgirls as candidates for his conservative People of Freedom party.

Berlusconi described the reports in several newspapers as “media crime” that suggested the aspiring European Parliament candidates, had been chosen for their looks and their “closeness” to the premier rather than their political abilities.

Of the six women who Lario described as “shameless trash”, without naming them directly, three eventually failed to make the candidate list, including a former contestant of the Italian version of the Big Brother reality show.

“They are all nice girls with excellent educational qualifications,” Berlusconi told Corriere della Sera.

Lario, last week in e-mail sent to Italy’s main news agency had also slammed her husband for attending the 18th-birthday party of a would-be showgirl, Noemi Letizia, who has also appeared in magazines and newspapers photographed in skimpy bikinis.

Berlusconi told Corriere della Sera he attended Letizia’s party at the behest of the woman’s father, “a long-standing friend”.

Berlusconi and Lario have three children. The politician also has two children from a previous marriage.

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