SILVIO Berlusconi was "crazy" about the teenage exotic dancer who allegedly had sex with the former prime minister and promised to pay her €5m to buy her silence, according to leaked telephone intercepts.
Karima El Mahroug, better known by her stage name Ruby the Heart Stealer, is heard telling a friend in October 2010 that she and her lawyer had requested 5 million euros and that Mr Berlusconi had accepted their demand.
"He is crazy about me," she said in one telephone conversation. "People immediately think the worst because they see a beautiful girl at Berlusconi's house and think they would be having sex but it is not like that."
The audio conversation published by Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, on its website, is one of several recorded by police for Milan prosecutors between October 26 – 28 2010, after news broke that the then 17-year-old was among the guests at the ex-premier's 'bunga bunga' parties at his luxury mansion outside Milan.
Miss El Mahroug is heard recounting the panic from Mr Berlusconi, his colleagues and her own lawyer when her name hit the headlines.
At the time she said she had been seeing Mr Berlusconi for a year and that he was "mad " about her, even though she insisted they did not have sex, and was offering her whatever she wanted to keep quiet about their relationship.
"Silvio is calling me constantly," she tells her ex-boyfriend, Sergio Corsaro, a Sicilian hairdresser, in one conversation.
"He told me to act like I was crazy and talk bull---- and that he would be there for me with whatever I wanted. My lawyer and I have asked for 5 million euros in exchange for me acting crazy and he has accepted."
The billionaire politician, who resigned in November, is on trial in Milan on charges of paying for sex with Miss El Mahroug whom prosecutors allege was working as a prostitute.
He is also accused of abuse of office by pressuring police in Milan to release her from custody after she was arrested on suspicion of stealing cash and jewellery from a flat mate.
In another conversation recorded on October 28 2010, Miss El Mahroug is heard telling a friend named only as Antonella how excited she is about appearing in the newspapers described as "Berlusconi's lover" as well as Mr Berlusconi's concern.
"Silvio called me yesterday saying 'Ruby how much money do you want?," Miss El Mahroug says in the conversation.
"I will pay you whatever you want, I will dress you in gold but it 's important you hide everything. Do not say anything to anyone."
Two days earlier on October 26 2010 Miss El Mahroug was recorded telling a friend that she had known Mr Berlusconi for a year and he was paying her €47,000 a week, but insisted there was no sex.
Mr Berlusconi's lawyer, Luca Giuliante, dismissed the claims that emerged from the tapped telephone conversations as a "fantasy".
"When I play Superenalotto, I too imagine that I can win those kinds of amounts," he said in an interview given to Mr Berlusconi's family-owned newspaper Il Giornale.
"Ruby, and I say this in a kind way, is a young girl without any focus, even in the validity of her words."
On Friday Mr Berlusconi made a surprise appearance at his sex trial and sought to play down the so-called "bunga bunga" parties at his villa describing them as "burlesque contests".
Witnesses have described starlets and showgirls performing stripteases, which were held at the former prime minister's villa at Arcore.
The parties were nothing more than "elegant dinners", he said, repeating a defence that he has used ever since the scandal broke two years ago.
The trial continues on Wednesday.