ROME — Now here’s a political leader whose suaveness and marital dishonesty make Bill Clinton look like a rank amateur. Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, 72, fell deeper into scandal today, as an audio recording regarding his alleged tryst with acall girl, Patrizia D’Addario, surfaced in public.
Italian alternative weekly magazineL’Espressoposted the recording, which contains a conversation about Berlusconi between D’Addario and her apparent employer, on its website.
The recording features entrepreneur Gianpaolo Tarantini, who allegedly paid D’Addario to sleep with the Italian leader, telling her that Berlusconi “is not taking you as a call girl, [but] as a friend of mine that I brought along.” The speakers agree on a €1,000 down payment (the equivalent of about $1,420 ), to be followed by the same amount if she spends the night with the prime minister.
“Whole conversations can be assembled [with] simple technical operations,” Berlusconi’slawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, said about the recording’s authenticity, according toAFP. He called the recording “totally implausible”.
It’s the second recording about the supposed encounterL’Espressohas posted in two days. Yesterday, the website featured what sounded like a conversation between Berlusconi and D’Addario, in which he asks her to wait for him in bed while he showers.
D’Addario, 42, has claimed in Italy’s media that Tarantini had pledged to pay her €2,000 (about $2,840) for each night spent with the prime minister.
Italian daily newspaperLa Repubblicahas been demanding that Berlusconi answer questions about his romantic life since May. The paper has just reported a 49% public approval rating for the prime minister, his lowest since his first term in 1994.
This soap opera follows upon other controversies, including Berlusconi’s alleged affair with a teenage mistress, Noemi Letizia. His estranged wife, former actor Veronica Lario, has statedintentions to divorceBerlusconi.