Berlusconi's new girlfriend chased him until he gave in
HERE's one way to land a billionaire: Silvio Berlusconi's 28-year-old girlfriend says she courted the 76-year-old former premier relentlessly until he finally surrendered. Now she's waiting for him to agree to marry her.
In an interview in the Italian edition of 'Vanity Fair', Francesca Pascale (inset with Berlusconi) described two years of pain as the media mogul responded to the failure of his second marriage by throwing lavish "bunga-bunga" parties for young women.
Ms Pascale said she met "B" in 2006 while working for his political party, though she had him in her sights much earlier, when she was under 18.
"He completely rejected me," she said of her initial volley. "But mine is an unending courtship."
Ms Pascale professed her love for Berlusconi in 2009 while he was in a Milan hospital recovering from an attack by an unstable man. By then they were close, but she said they never spent time in private together because he was still married.
"He told me, 'Don't even talk about it, you're too young, I can't give you the future you deserve'," she said.
Her persistence paid off, she said Berlusconi gave her a diamond ring at Christmas 2011.
Ms Pascale has been at Berlusconi's side as he has gone through some of the most trying times of his life: Italy's high court in August upheld his tax fraud conviction; and his relationship with a 17-year-old guest at his "bunga bunga" parties got him convicted of paying for sex with a minor.
Ms Pascale recently wrote on Facebook "for richer and poorer, until death do we part", prompting speculation that a wedding is in the offing.