The sex scandal involving Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has deepened further as one of the girls named in the prostitution probe admitted that she had sex with the leader.
Maria Esther Garcia Polanco, a 25-year-old model and aspiring showgirl, however, denied that she did so in exchange for money.
Polanco, who hails from the Dominican Republic, said she had sexual relations with the 74-year-old billionaire out of gratitude because he had paid for urgent medical treatment for her five-year-old daughter.
She also praised Berlusconi for helping her find work as a television showgirl, including on a programme called 'The Hot Chick and the Dork', the Telegraph reported citing Italian media.
This is for the first time, anyone from the so-called "bunga bunga" girls -- a group of 14 women whom prosecutors allege had sex with the prime minister -- has admitted that she went to bed with him.
When asked whether she had ever had sexual relations with Berlusconi, Polanco told Italian newspaper La Repubblica: "Yes, but never in exchange for money."
Polanco, who described the Italian leader as "generous and kind", admitted to have attended "five or six" parties at Berlusconi's estate at Arcore, outside Milan, but denied that the soirees degenerated into "orgies".
Her claim contradicts evidence amassed from hundreds of wire-tapped conversations between the women, Berlusconi and his inner circle, in which witnesses said starlets, actresses and models danced around poles and performed stripteases before being picked for sex with the prime minister.
"I don't know if the wire taps are true or not, but all that stuff about orgies and naked women, none of it is true," she said and added that "they were just normal parties and dinners".
When asked about reports that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was at the villa one weekend in April when Berlusconi allegedly hosted one of his notorious "bunga bunga" parties, Polanco said:"I don't know, I don't follow politics."
Polanco was among a group of women who were allegedly installed in rent-free accommodation by Berlusconi in an apartment complex on the outskirts of Milan.
On Friday, Nadia Macri, a 28-year-old self-confessed prostitute told the prosecutors that the Prime Minister paid EUR 5,000 to have sex with her and Karima El Mahroug, a Moroccan-born erotic dancer known as Ruby the Heart Stealer.
According to prosecutors, Berlusconi had sex with her when she was 17 years -- a charge the duo denied.
Although Berlusconi had been mired in sex scandals before, including claims that he slept with call girls, the current accusations of having sex with a minor and trying to cover it up are said to be the most gravest ones.