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Silvio Berlusconi hosted orgies at mansion

Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from public office for life
Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from public office for life
Karima 'Ruby' El Mahroug
Karima el-Mahroug
Karima el-Mahroug, known as Ruby, the woman at the centre of a sex scandal involving ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi, gives evidence in a Milan court (AP)
Karima el-Mahroug, the Moroccan woman at the centre of ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi's sex-for-hire trial
Karima el-Mahroug

By Michael Day

The charges against billionaire media mogul Silvio Berlusconi stem from the ‘bunga bunga’ parties in 2010 at his mansion near Milan, where he wined and dined beautiful young women while he was premier.

Berlusconi said the dinner parties were elegant soirees; prosecutors say they were sex-fuelled parties that women were paid to attend. The crime he was found guilty of — paying an underage dancer for sex — occurred at Mr Berlusconi's mansion at Arcore.

The participants, including Karima el-Mahroug, better known by her nickname Ruby the Heart Stealer, were said to have been paid thousands of euros a time for erotic dancing and sex sessions.

Ms El-Mahroug, who was 17 at the time of the offence, told that court that Berlusconi's disco featured aspiring showgirls dressed as sexy nuns and nurses performing striptease acts, and that one woman even dressed up as US President Barack Obama.

Ms El-Mahroug, now 20, said in the earlier trial that she attended about six parties at Berlusconi's villa, and that after each, he handed her an envelope with up to £2,560. She said she later received €25,000 cash from the then-premier — money that she told Berlusconi she wanted to use to open a beauty salon, despite having no formal training.

She also claimed she was related to then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Ms El-Mahroug denied that Berlusconi had ever given her €5m.

In April 2012, records of bank transactions revealed the billionaire media mogul had paid a total of £107,000 to three key witnesses shortly after the “Rubygate” trial had begun.

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