Italy Showgirl Minetti Says She Was 'In Love' With Berlusconi

9:20 AM PST 06/07/2013 by Eric J. Lyman
ANSA
Nicole Minetti

Minetti, who is on trial in Milan for procuring prostitutes for the former prime minister, is the latest figure to deny wrongdoing in the case.

ROME – Nicole Minetti, the former Italian showgirl on trial in Milan for procuring prostitutes for Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi when he was prime minister, earned headlines Friday when she said the billionaire media tycoon had been her greatest love.

The trial of the 27-year-old Minetti and two other Berlusconi associates is a separate trial than the parallel trial alleging Berlusconi’s abuse of power and paying an under-age girl for sex, but the charges are connected.

Speaking in her own defense, Minetti denied inviting anyone to Berlusconi’s villa at Arcore, and she had a “sentiment of real, true love” for the 76-year-old mogul, who she met five years ago while working as a model at a motorcycle show. She said Berlusconi asked her to dinners at his home, where she says she fell for his “charisma and charm.”

Prosecutors called for a seven-year jail term for Minetti, saying she was guilty of participating in a prostitution ring.

Minetti is the latest figure in Berlusconi’s sex trials to flat-out deny wrong doing, joining Berlusconi himself and Karima el-Mahroug, the then 17-year-old erotic dancer Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex.

The verdict in both trails is expected later this month.

Berlusconi is also appealing guilty verdicts in two other cases: a four-year jail term for tax evasion in connection with acquisition deals at Mediaset, the television and cinema giant he controls, and a further year in a wire-tap case.

Twitter: @EricJLyman

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