ROME – The sex scandal surrounding Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is now threatening his job, as more claims emerge of young women being paid to attend private parties at his homes in Rome and Sardinia, the Times of London reported.
With weeks to go before he hosts the G8 summit the Italian Prime Minister, 72, is facing new allegations, including claims by a Bari escort girl who says that she has recorded footage of herself in the billionaire’s bedroom. Now another woman has come forward, this time claiming that she was paid to attend the Prime Minister’s private parties after going through a hostess service, allegedly operated by a local businessman.
In an interview with The Times Barbara Montereale said that Mr Berlusconi gave her nearly $14,000 "as a present" after attending one of his parties at Villa Certosa. She also claims to have received an attendance fee of about $1,400 paid by his alleged fixer, Giampaolo Tarantini.
Montereale, 23, also claimed that Patrizia D’Addario, the escort girl at the center of the scandal, told her she had had sex with Berlusconi.
Speaking from her home in Modugno, Bari, Montereale told the Times that she first met Berlusconi when she attended a dinner at Palazzo Grazioli, his residence in Rome, in November. She was among three women, including D’Addario and Lucia Rossini, another Bari woman who has also been questioned by prosecutors.
On Saturday, Tarantini apologized to the premier for having contributed to the latest scandal.
In a statement late Saturday to Italian new agency ANSA, Tarantini said he only reimbursed the women for their travel and expenses, refuting suggestions that he paid the women, reportedly including a high-end prostitute, to attend. He said Berlusconi didn't know the expenses were paid, and said he was sorry that something that was meant well had turned into a mess for the premier.
The scandal began weeks ago when the premier's wife, Veronica Lario, cited Berlusconi's selection of young starlets and showgirls for European Parliament elections in announcing she was divorcing him.
The Times of London and The Associated Press contributed to this report.