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Berlusconi feels heat over hooker's claim

THE high-end prostitute at the center of Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi's starlet scandal has dismissed the premier's claims that he doesn't know her, saying they spent the night together and shared an "intimate" breakfast the next morning.

Patrizia D'Addario told the left-leaning La Repubblica newspaper that the only way the premier could be confused about her identity was because "there were so many other young women who looked just like me" at his parties.

Prosecutors in Bari city have questioned D'Addario and other starlets as part of a probe into a businessman accused of paying women to attend parties at the premier's homes.

Businessman Giampaolo Tarantini has said the women were only reimbursed for travel expenses and has apologized to Berlusconi for causing scandal.

Berlusconi has said he has never paid for sex and in an interview with Chi magazine, which he owns, said he didn't remember D'Addario's name or what she looked like.

He granted the interview as he battled a mounting scandal that began when his wife, Veronica Lario, a former actress who met Berlusconi while starring topless in the play "The Magnificent Cuckold," cited his selection of showgirls for European Parliament candidates and his attendance at the birthday party of an 18-year-old model in announcing she was divorcing him.

D'Addario was quoted as saying by Repubblica that she attended two parties at Berlusconi's Roman residence.

D'Addario said she spent the night of Novembor 4 with Berlusconi, when the premier reportedly skipped an appearance at an event marking the election of United States President Barack Obama.

D'Addario has said she recorded her encounter with the premier and has turned the tapes over to prosecutors.


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