Berlusconi Faces Prostitution Probe

Showgirl: I was paid to go to PM's party
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 18, 2009 10:19 AM CDT
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, left, talks to a talk show host onstate television May 5, 2009. Berlusconi's wife Veronica Lario is seen onscreen in the background at left.   (AP Photo/Sandro Pace)
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(Newser) – Already in hot water for connections to an 18-year-old model, a “mock marriage,” and a party with topless women, Silvio Berlusconi is now facing a probe into allegations over whether he paid showgirls to attend parties at the Italian PM's residences, the Times of London reports. An inquiry will look at whether the women were "induced into prostitution." Berlusconi called the allegations “rubbish and falsehoods.”

Wiretaps of a Berlusconi neighbor’s conversations contained references to such payments, and a TV showgirl told an Italian newspaper she’d been paid to attend a party. She said she’d been paid only half a planned fee “because I didn’t stay.” She had talked to Berlusconi about a hotel she wanted to build, and he promised to help; when he didn’t, she “had no wish to go back.” She was later robbed, she said, in what she describes as “a very strange burglary.”