Related News

Home » World

Berlusconi hits back, claims he is 'no saint'

ITALIAN Premier Silvio Berlusconi joked yesterday that he is "no saint," in his first comments on a sex scandal since a news weekly released what it said were conversations between him and a prostitute.

Berlusconi has been entangled in scandal for months over his alleged encounters with young women, but it took on a new life this week when L'Espresso released the tapes of the purported conversations at the premier's Rome residence in November.

Berlusconi's lawyer has disputed the tapes' veracity.

"I'm no saint, by now you've figured that out," a smiling Berlusconi told an audience of business executives and politicians in northern Italy.

"Let's hope that those working at Repubblica understand that, too," he added, taking a jab at the left-leaning daily that has doggedly pursued the scandal story.

Both La Repubblica and L'Espresso are owned by the same publishing group.

The 72-year-old Berlusconi has denied he ever paid anyone for sex, and has called the allegations "trash" meant to smear him. Last month, a defiant Berlusconi said "that's who I am" and that is how Italians want him. The scandal has done little to dent his popularity at home.

On Monday and Tuesday, L'Espresso released recordings of what it said was the night Berlusconi spent with the escort, November 4. The recordings include intimate conversations between the woman, Patrizia D'Addario, and a voice identified as Berlusconi's.

While the voice heard on the tapes sounds like the premier's, it could not be independently verified that Berlusconi was indeed the speaker.

Berlusconi's lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, said after the first recordings were released on Monday that they were "without any merit, completely improbable and the fruit of invention."

He warned that legal action will be taken against anyone who distributes them.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend