The former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has announced his engagement to his 27-year-old girlfriend Francesca Pascale."Finally I feel less lonely," said Mr Berlusconi, who has five children by two previous marriages.
"I am engaged to a Neapolitan, it's official. She is 27 years old, with very solid values, beautiful on the outside and even more beautiful on the inside.
"She is very close to me, she loves me very much and I feel the same. My daughter Marina appreciates her and loves her very much too."
Speaking on an Italian chat show, the 76-year-old billionaire said charges that he paid for underage sex with a prostitute were an "incredible machination".
"It was an excuse to put in place a giant operation for defamation against me and against the Italian government, including on an international level," he said.