Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mamma Mia! - 'the fruit of invention!

Escort's tapes latest twist in Italian scandal
Silvio Berlusconi's lawyer dismisses recordings as 'the fruit of invention'

Prostitute Patrizia D'Addario says she taped her encounters with Silvio Berlusconi last fall. The Italian premier has denied recognizing her or her name. (OLYCOM/IPHOTO)
July 21, 2009
Nicole Winfield
ROME – An Italian newsweekly has released tape recordings of what it says was the night Silvio Berlusconi spent with a prostitute, in which the premier is purportedly heard asking her to wait for him in bed while he showers.
Berlusconi's lawyer disputed the veracity of the tapes, saying yesterday they were "without any merit, completely improbable and the fruit of invention."
The escort, Patrizia D'Addario, has said she taped her encounters with Berlusconi as well as the parties he threw for young women at his residences.
Berlusconi has denied paying anyone for sex, and called the allegations "trash" meant to smear him.
Polls show the scandal has hardly dented his popularity – a sign of his political resilience and Italians' indifference to their leader's sexual foibles. His wife, however, cited his fondness for young women in announcing this spring that she was divorcing the 72-year-old leader.
The left-leaning L'Espresso newsweekly and La Repubblica daily put the recordings on their websites yesterday. The magazine is the flagship of the L'Espresso SpA publishing empire that also includes La Repubblica.
They say the recordings were made during and after two parties the premier threw last year, which D'Addario attended.
In one recording, a voice purported to be Berlusconi's is heard talking to D'Addario. According to the reports, he says: "I'm going to take a shower as well ... and then will you wait for me in the big bed if you finish first?"
D'Addario has said the encounter took place November 4 – and that Berlusconi skipped a party for the U.S. election to spend the night with her.
The tapes also feature an alleged call between Berlusconi and D'Addario the day after, in which he marvels at how he got through a speech on so little sleep, the websites said.
D'Addario responds that she lost her voice, the account said.
"How come?" Berlusconi asks. "We didn't scream."
AP has not independently verified that Berlusconi is the speaker.


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