Kindly, twinkly, avuncular billionaire Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian PM, has been helping yet another attractive young woman, Karima el- Mahroug (that’s her above), with her career, as the Guardian reports:
Berlusconi has been at the centre of a series of scandals in recent years, including claims by a prostitute, Patrizia D’Addario, that she had sex with him in 2008. Berlusconi has denied paying for sex. There was also controversy over his friendship with a teenage model, Noemi Letizia.
Neither of the most recent allegations, however, would seem to make the prime minister liable to criminal charges, even if they were true. The age of consent in Italy is 14. Prostitution is not illegal, though profiting from it is. And there is nothing in what is so far known of Macri’s statement to indicate Berlusconi himself supplied the drugs allegedly used at the holiday estate where he has hosted Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin and other world leaders.
The biggest legal threat arose from another young woman, Karima el-Mahroug, a then 17-year-old belly dancer who is reported to have told prosecutors in Milan that she attended three parties at Arcore, but denies any sexual entanglement with the prime minister.
Mahroug was detained by police in May on suspicion of stealing €3,000 (£2,620), but after a call from the prime minister’s office, she was handed over to a Berlusconi acquaintance – his former dental hygienist, who was this year elected to the Lombardy regional parliament.His former dental hygienist, you say? Gee, I wonder what she looks like:
Actually she looks like my dentist in Cambridge, but with a way different stylist. That pic is from a Daily Telegraph report back in February:
Silvio Berlusconi has shortlisted his dental hygienist to contest crucial elections next month. The 73-year-old premier was apparently unable to resist the charms of Nicole Minetti, a showgirl turned dental hygienist who he met when his teeth were being repaired after he was attacked in Milan in December.
Helpfully the Telegraph has a picture gallery of nine other young women the kindly, twinkly, avuncular billionaire has helped with their careers. They are all a bit like that. And one other:
Veronica Lario, 52, Berlusconi’s long suffering wife of 20 years and mother of his three children. They started an affair while he was still married to first wife and he saw her topless on stage.
Jimmy Goldsmith was not the first rich man to say, “When you marry your mistress you create a job vacancy,” and he will not be the last. Mrs Berlusconi surely cannot be surprised at her situation. What a man does once and gets away with, he will do again.
Back to that Telegraph gallery. All the women are stunnas, as the Sun would say. One can see what he sees in them, but what do they see in him? Cue Caroline Aherne’s character Mrs Merton interviewing Debbie McGee: “What first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”
For all his faults, Edward Heath never embarrassed the English the way that Berlusconi embarrasses the Italians.