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Silvio Berlusconi the 'boss of bosses' says showgirl accused of recruiting prostitutes


Silvio Berlusconi and Nicole Minetti. Photo: AP

Silvio Berlusconi and Nicole Minetti. Photo: AP

Silvio Berlusconi and Nicole Minetti. Photo: AP

SILVIO Berlusconi was referred to as the "boss of bosses" by the half-British former showgirl who is accused of recruiting prostitutes for his "bunga bunga" parties.

The term – normally reserved for mafia dons – was used by Nicole Minetti, a television starlet-turned-politician who is on trial for procuring high-class escorts for the former prime minister.

Miss Minetti also said that there were "five anthropological categories" of women that attended Mr Berlusconi's parties, in one of 50,000 alleged conversations intercepted and recorded by prosecutors over seven months.

After inviting a friend to attend one of the parties at Mr Berlusconi's mansion near Milan, Miss Minetti, who also referred to the 75-year-old medica tycoon as "love of my life", allegedly said it was important that the young woman be briefed on what would take place.

"You will see total desperation," she told the woman, Melania Tumini, in an apparent reference to the way in which the models and would-be actresses competed for Mr Berlusconi's attention.

She told her friend that five types of women attended the "bunga bunga" parties.

"I tell you, there are five anthropological categories – there are the sluts, the South Americans who come from the favelas (slums) and don't speak a word of Italian, the more serious ones, others who are somewhere in the middle, and then there's me, and I do what I do."

In another call, Lisa Barizonte, a showgirl, allegedly told Miss Minetti that she would bring her a teacher's uniform to wear for one of the parties.

"Perfect, I'll bring garter belts and reading glasses, and when I take everything off I'll have sexy underwear underneath," Miss Minetti said, according to audio recordings.

The alleged phone calls are part of a huge stack of evidence which prosecutors are using against the former premier in a trial in Milan in which he is accused of abuse of office and paying for sex with a teenage nightclub dancer who was allegedly working as an under age prostitute.

Mr Berlusconi claimed last week that he held only "elegant dinners" at which young women who were "by nature exhibitionists" put on "burlesque contests".

He denies the charges against him.

But Karima El Mahroug, the Moroccan-born dancer who was 17 when the scandal broke, said he was very worried that her true age would be found out. Paying a woman under the age of 18 for sex is a criminal offence in Italy.

Miss El Mahroug, known by her stage name as Ruby the Heart Stealer, claimed that the prime minister was prepared to pay her €47,000 a week to buy her silence.

Mr Berlusconi's trial in Milan, which started a year ago, continues.