George Clooney’s Italian girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis has been implicated in a wide-ranging sex and drugs scandal involving businessmen, celebrities and high-class prostitutes.
Miss Canalis, a former showgirl, is said to have taken cocaine at a nightclub in Milan that is now at the centre of an investigation into an alleged prostitution ring in which rich clients enjoyed the favours of high-class escort girls while taking drugs.
In court documents released in Milan this week, a French escort girl testified that she saw a number of young models and starlets taking cocaine at the clubs, among them Miss Canalis, now aged 31.
“I used cocaine along with other people, among whom was Elisabetta Canalis,” said the French woman, Karima Menad, 26.
Her evidence forms part of a dossier which has been put together by prosecutors on the alleged prostitution ring. The investigation into two Milan nightclubs - 'The Club’ and 'Hollywood’ - resulted in the arrest of five people on Monday and the closing down of the two nightclubs.
The allegation dates back to 2008, a year before Italian Miss Canalis started dating Clooney, 49, who owns a luxury villa on the shores of Lake Como, north of Milan, and spends a considerable amount of time in Italy.
Miss Canalis is a model, actress, and presenter who has appeared on numerous glitzy Italian television shows and had a minor role in the film Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. She has also hosted music festivals.
The Italian press has speculated for months that Clooney, one of Hollywood’s most popular and respected actors, might be about to propose marriage to her.
The chief prosecutor in the case, Frank Di Maio, said the high-class call girls were paid in money and drugs to encourage clients to drink expensive alcohol.
The most favoured and high-spending clients were allegedly given free stashes of cocaine, and then spent more money paying for sexual intercourse with the prostitutes.
“We’re talking about girls of various nationalities, who operated as PR for the clubs - the so-called 'image girls’, joining clients at private tables, inducing them to drink alcohol in order to increase the bill and offering sexual services at locations away from the club,” said chief prosecutor Frank Di Maio.
The nightclubs were regarded by VIPs as a sort of “free zone” where they were immune from the law and at liberty to do what they liked “far from the gaze of public opinion” as long as they had enough money, Mr Di Maio said.