Berlusconis Row Over PM's Wandering Eye

Soap opera of feuding first couple grips Italy
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2009 7:43 AM CDT
An artwork by Filippo Panseca, depicting Silvio Berlusconi with a giant pair of wings and little else, with an equally topless female minister, in Savona, Italy, Tuesday April 21, 2009.   (AP Photo/Italo Banchero)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Silvio Berlusconi's wife is taking her complaints of philandering and dishonesty to the press—and it's not the first time she's done so, the New York Times reports. The Italian first lady was angry that Berlusconi went to the 18th birthday party of a business associate's daughter, who has been photographed in lingerie. "This surprised me," Veronica Lario wrote, "because he never attended the 18th birthday parties of his children, even if he was invited."

Lario has voiced her frustrations with her husband in the media before; in 2007, she published an open letter bashing him for flirting with women at a party and a showgirl-turned-minister. Though the most recent accusations have received wall-to-wall coverage in Italy, few expect political repercussions. One newspaper editor said Berlusconi's taste for beautiful women "is a huge part of Italian society. People identify with it."