Silvio Berlusconi attempted to make light of the prostitution scandal swirling around him at a recent meeting of his People of Freedom Party, telling his allies that the charges couldn’t possibly be true. Not because he's a paradigm of morality, but because “I’d be better than Superman if I’d had parties with 24 girls.” The joke didn’t go over well, according to the Daily Telegraph, particularly since it came on the heels of reports that telephone conversations intercepted by prosecutors revealed Berlusconi dealing out huge sums to at least a dozen young women.
In one taped conversation between Karim El Mahroug, aka “Ruby Heart Stealer,” and her friends, she said she’d asked Berlusconi for $6.7 million in compensation for sullying her name. But Mahroug denied ever sleeping with the prime minister in an interview with Italian TV. “He never touched me, not even with a finger,” she said through tears, according to the Herald Sun. “I esteem him as a person and for helping me without anything in return.”