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I did not have sexual relations with that woman! PDF Print E-mail
Jan 17, 2011 at 12:43 PM
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Here we go again!
It was with those words that then president Bill Clinton on January 26, 1998, consigned to history one of the biggest lies in the history of modern media. Now, 12 years later, is Silvio Berlusconi giving a repeat performance? Ï have never paid a woman for sex in my life, not even once", the Italian prime minister said yesterday on the eve of a new judicial investigation into his relations with a Moroccan showgirl  (call girl? party girl?) who at the time was only 17.


 

Ruby, the young woman in question, also denied in a recent TV interview (in which she appeared without makeup, with her hair pulled back and in normal clothing much unlike that which she seems to be her usual attire) that she had had sex with Mr. B. . Is this true? Who knows? Italian newspapers say there are telephone taps in which she says the contrary. And she does admit that Berlusconi, the second or third richest man in Italy, did give her 7000 euros (almost $9,300) to help her out in her difficult situation (she had escaped" from a community for troubled minors that a judge had committed her to and had come to Milan to start a new life).

This is not the first time that allegations have surfaced regarding either Berlusconi's payments  or presents to "escorts" (call girls); at least two or three have already testified to this and one even released tapes made during a night spent with the prime minister, but as far as is known, none of these were underage. From my point of view, if Berlusconi were not prime minister he could pay for sex as much as he wanted to (although, again, not with underage women).

But as he is prime minister, he really ought to have a better image than that of a 74-year old who keeps a bevy of young sexy women on hand to invite to parties at one of his various residences. That reminds me, that one of the most recent revelations indicates that he has put aside a building in the housing development he constructed on the outskirts of Milan in the 1970s to house many of them. Really! Poor Italy!

The Ruby scandal first surfaced last fall when it became known that earlier in 2010 Berlusconi had intervened with Milan police to get the girl released from a police station after being arrested on stealing charges brought by another woman, when instead proper procedures should have sent her sent back to another community for minors.

The affair resurfaced last week right after an Italian high court ruled (and not for the first time) that a law protecting Berlusconi and other high-level politicians from prosecution while in office was unconstitutional. Immediately after that ruling, a Milan court announced it was filing charges of sex with a minor and of abuse of influence.

Berlusconi has reacted - and not for the first time - by saying he is being persecuted by leftwing magistrates. Since erupting on the political and scene in the early 1990s, charges of one kind or another - including financial irregularities, tax fraud, bribery, mafia involvement -  repeatedly have been brought against Berlusconi (many by the same prosecutor, Ilda Boccassini, who filed the Ruby accusations) although so far he has always been acquitted or has seen the charges dropped because of the statute of limitations. So either he is really being persecuted, or else he's a pretty unscrupulous guy.

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