George Clooney Named Witness in Silvio Berlusconi Trial
Ides of March director-star George Clooney has been named a witness in former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's new sex and corruption trial.
Clooney's ex-girlfriend, Dancing With the Stars season 13 contestant Elisabetta Canalis, and soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo were also among the more than 200 names accepted by a Milan court Wednesday for the case, which alleges that the media titan had sex with an underage prostitute, reports the Associated Press.
The 75-year-old Mediaset honcho is accused to paying Karima el-Mahroug -- best known by her nickname “Ruby the Heart Stealer” -- for sex when she was 17. He is also charged with abuse of power for trying to help el-Mahroug get out of trouble when she was arrested for shoplifting by calling law enforcement and lying that she was the niece of then-Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.
The abuse of power charge is the most serious of the two charges against Berlusconi in this trial, carrying a maximum prison term of 12 years.
Earlier this year, Clooney said he was "stupified" to be considered a witness in the case, which has been delayed for months. "It's very strange," Clooney said according to a statement from his agent released to the Milan daily Corriere della Sera. "I have met Berlusconi only once, and even then it was only to solicit his help for Darfur."
Berlusconi stepped down as prime minister of Italy on Nov. 12