Silvio Berlusconi

'Ruby the heart stealer' denies Berlusconi sex allegations

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 May, 2013, 2:11am

The woman alleged to have had sex for money with former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi when she was just 17 testified in court for the first time yesterday at a trial of three friends accused of pimping for him.

Karima El-Mahroug described "sensual" soirees in a discotheque at Berlusconi's villa in 2010 that invitees called the "bunga bunga", saying she was paid €2,000 (HK$20,000) or €3,000 a night.

But the woman, better known by her nickname Ruby the Heart Stealer, denied ever having sex with Berlusconi and said she had never received €5 million from him, as she told friends in phone calls that were tapped by police. "I never had sexual relations with him," she told the court in Milan, adding: "I've always refused to be a prostitute."

I never had sexual relations with him. I've always refused to be a prostitute
Karima El-Mahroug

Confronted repeatedly by prosecutors with contradictions between what she told investigators and what she said in the telephone wiretaps, El-Mahroug said she "always talked rubbish" or "could not remember" particular conversations. Judge Annamaria Gatto at one point interrupted her saying: "This is a trial, not a television show."

El-Mahroug was testifying at the trial of three of Berlusconi's friends: Lele Mora, Emilio Fede and Nicole Minetti, who are accused of supplying girls for the allegedly raunchy "bunga bunga" parties.