Months after he got entangled in a scandal involving a teenage model, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is facing fresh embarrassment after a former escort girl has claimed that he slept with her on the night of Barack Obama's historic victory as US's first Black President.
According to 42-year-old Patrizia D'Addario, the prime minister had hosted a dinner party for three women at Palazzo Grazioli, his luxurious home in Rome, on the night of Obama's victory and then he asked her to stay that night, The Sunday Times reported.
In fact, she claims to have taped the conversation that followed. "Go and wait for me in the big bed," the 72- year-old billionaire is said to have told her. He was going to
have a shower and change into a bathrobe.
An extract from D'Addario's tape that was leaked to an Italian newspaper and published on Saturday shows that she replied: "Yes, the big bed".
According to D'Addario, Berlusconi's staff reminded him that he was expected at an election night rally organised by the Italy-USA Foundation, but the prime minister stayed at home. Officials informed him later of Obama's victory.
The next day, D'Addario claimed she and Berlusconi had breakfast together and he gave her a multicoloured tortoise encrusted with precious stones, declaring: "The tortoise is a special gift I give only to you."
Her account is the latest in a series of claims about Berlusconi's private life. However, he has described the claims as "trash and falsehood". "I'll not be swayed by these attacks and will continue to work for good of the country."