Teen: Berlusconi Gave Me $9K
...but Ruby Heartstealer maintains there was 'absolutely' no sex
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2011 4:01 PM CST
Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi sits as he listen to a speech.   (Alessandra Tarantino)
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(Newser) – The teenager at the heart of the latest criminal probe of Silvio Berlusconi insists she didn't have sex with him—but says he gave her $9,350 when she attended a Valentine's Day party at his villa. Karima el-Mahroug, better known as Ruby Heartstealer, said yesterday that Berlusconi didn't know she was a minor "because I told everyone I was 24," not 17. As for why he gave her the cash? "Because I had just arrived in Milan and he knew of my difficult family situation" and wanted to help, reports the AP.

Prosecutors are investigating whether Berlusconi paid the underage girl for sex and then abused his power in trying to cover up the encounter. Click for more.