Members of Silvio Berlusconi’s entourage are urging the prime minister to seek treatment in a clinic for sex addiction.

The 72-year-old billionaire’s private life has been the focus of a long-running scandal since he attended the 18th birthday party of Noemi Letizia in April.

His wife, Veronica Lario, 53, has demanded a divorce and Patrizia D’Addario, a prostitute, has said she spent a night at Berlusconi’s Rome residence last November — which he has denied.

The Veronica Trend, an updated biography of Lario, a former actress, to be published on Wednesday, tells her side of the story. It is based on interviews with the prime minister’s wife of 19 years.

The book’s author, Maria Latella, writes that a few members of Berlusconi’s inner circle are calling for the couple to separate formally, but then for Lario to “return to her husband’s side to help him find himself again ... also with a stay in one of those clinics specialising in curing sex dependence”.

“This scenario hasn’t been completely ruled out, and much will depend on how much the press — above all overseas — will continue to be fascinated by Berlusconi’s private life,” she writes.

Latella does not specify whether those backing this idea include Lario or any of the Berlusconi’s three children: Barbara, Eleonora and Luigi. A source said yesterday the clinic suggestion had been floated for the first time shortly before Berlusconi presided over the G8 summit at L’Aquila in July. It would involve a stay of one to two weeks.

But the book says the most realistic outcome, which the prime minister is understood to favour, is an uncontested divorce. Lario may then move from Milan to Switzerland, where she is building a house.

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