Call girl says Berlusconi helped her overcome money trouble

Monday, January 24, 2011

LONDON - A call girl, who was reportedly paid 115,000 euros ($156,000) from an account linked to Silvio Berlusconi, has said the Italian prime minister was merely helping her as she was in financial trouble.

Bank records show Alessandra Sorcinelli received a total of 115,000 euros from an account linked to Berlusconi, only a few days after it emerged that prosecutors were investigating the prime minister on charges of paying for sex with an underage prostitute and abuse of office in trying to cover it up.

Prosecutors allege that Berlusconi paid for sex with a “significant” number of prostitutes, including a 17-year-old nightclub dancer nicknamed Ruby the Heart Stealer, at his villa near Milan.

Reports said police found “some very interesting photographs” of parties held by Berlusconi when they raided apartments in Milan in which he allegedly installed a harem of starlets and call girls.

One of his “favourites” appears to have been Sorcinelli, 26, a men’s magazine model from Sardinia, Italy, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Bank records obtained by Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano show Sorcinelli received 13 payments worth a total of 115,000 euros between Jan 11, 2010, and Jan 17, 2011.

Though the 74-year-old Berlusconi was informed he was under investigation, he allegedly went on to pay Sorcinelli 25,000 euros in three payments.

Sorcinelli, however, said Berlusconi had helped her because she was “in difficulty”.

“I was given financial support from the prime minister because I was without a job. This was not money in return for silence. I have a precarious job and life is expensive and he helped me,” she said.

“To be honest, thanks to him last summer, I was able to go to Los Angeles and study acting. Please, I’ve had enough of calling them parties, they were dinners. Peaceful, elegant dinners, where we listened to music and anecdotes from the prime minister.”

“There were young people like me and we would talk about everything from politics to gossip. I was always personally invited by the prime minister because we have been friends for a long time,” she said.

Wiretapped conversations revealed Sorcinelli and other women asking for large payments of money from Berlusconi’s accountant, Giuseppe Spinelli.

Berlusconi has accused magistrates of illegally spying on him and refused a request by prosecutors that he present himself for questioning.

“I am not running away and I am not resigning. I am defending myself and reacting to what is truly an attempt to subvert the will of voters,” Berlusconi said.

Leaked transcripts of phone conversations between more than 20 women who attended the so-called “bunga bunga” sex parties at Berlusconi’s residence have been filling Italian newspapers for days, piling pressure on the premier.

But he says the wiretaps were part of an illegal political, judicial and media campaign to destroy him, defending his right to privacy and calling the accusations “ridiculous”.

Filed under: Politics

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