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'Heart stealer' Karima cashes in on her notoriety

THE teenage dancer at the centre of the sex scandal surrounding Silvio Berlusconi has appeared in an Italian television commercial in her underwear.

Karima El Mahroug (18), whose stage name is Ruby the Heart Stealer, has cashed in on her notoriety by promoting 'The Female Labyrinth', a book by a former MEP.

And she has been paid €100,000 for the advert, according to reports in the Italian media.

In the advertisement, a man dressed as the Phantom of the Opera appears and rips off her red dress, leaving her standing in a black bra and knickers.

In a rambling message, she describes the book as a treatise on the economy, unemployment and the evils of the banking system, saying Italian society has been "stripped bare" by the government.

In a recent interview, Ms El Mahroug claimed she was raped at the age of nine by two uncles and ran away from her immigrant parents' home in Sicily in her early teens. She ended up working for a living in various bars and nightclubs in Milan, where she performed belly dances and erotic stage shows.

The teenager, then 17, was introduced to Mr Berlusconi through one of the prime minister's closest associates and he asked her to a private dinner at his mansion outside Milan early last year.

She initially said the evening degenerated into a sex party involving a line-up of young women, but later changed her story, claiming it was a quiet soiree at which nothing improper took place.

She denies ever having had sex with Mr Berlusconi but claimed he gave her €7,000 as a gift because he felt sorry for her. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent