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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 12, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 46
'It's better to like pretty girls than Gay boys,' says Silvio Berlusconi
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'It's better to like pretty girls than Gay boys,' says Silvio Berlusconi

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi's right-wing coalition government is teetering on the brink of collapse in the wake of multiple business and sex scandals.

Berlusconi, a media tycoon as well as a politician, has been charged with a number of criminal offenses including collusion with the mafia, tax fraud, bribery of police officers and judges, and falsifying his company's books.

He has also been accused of evading prosecution through his political influence.

To top it all off, Italian reporters have revealed that Berlusconi has hired, cajoled, or coerced a string of young women - many of them minors - into having sex with him.

The last week in October, Italian media outlets were abuzz with a story about a Moroccan run-away working in Rome as a belly dancer who alleged she had regularly attended sex parties at Berlusconi's residences.

The belly dancer, who worked under the stage name Ruby Rubacuori, was identified by Italian magazine Oggi as Karima Kayek. She told reporters she received money, clothes, and diamond jewelry from Berlusconi as a reward for her services.

He also used his influence to get police to drop shoplifting charges against her in May, she said.

At the time she was 17. Berlusconi was 74.

When questioned by reporters, Berlusconi replied with characteristic bravado.

'I like pretty girls. It's better to like pretty girls than Gay boys,' he told Associated Press on November 2.

Last May, Berlusconi's wife, Veronica Lario, divorced him, saying, 'I can not stay with a man who frequents minors.'

At that time, the minor in question was a lingerie model and aspiring TV anchor named Noemi Letitzia. Berlusconi turned up at her eighteenth birthday party to present her with a gold necklace.

She later revealed to reporters that Berlusconi liked her to call him 'daddy.'

Berlusconi's 'at least I'm not Gay' remark is apparently not helping him hold on to power.

On November 10, Berlusconi lost three separate votes in Italy's parliament, and his one-time ally, parliament Speaker Gianfranco Fini, said bluntly it was time for Berlusconi to resign.

Like most European countries, Italy is a parliamentary democracy, in which the premier must command a majority in parliament to retain power. Berlusconi has headed a right-wing coalition since 2008. He was previously premier in 1994 and 1995 and from 2001 to 2006.

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