MILAN (AP) — Silvio Berlusconi’s private disco featured not only aspiring show girls performing striptease acts as sexy nuns and nurses, but also dressed as President Barack Obama and a prominent Milan prosecutor whom the billionaire media mogul has accused of persecuting him, according to the first public sworn testimony by the Moroccan woman at the center of the scandal.
Karima el-Mahroug’s testimony Friday at the trial of three former Berlusconi aides accused with procuring her and other women for prostitution confirms a sexually charged atmosphere at the “bunga bunga” parties of the then-sitting premier. The trial is separate from the one in which Berlusconi is charged with paying for sex with a minor — el-Mahroug when she was 17 — and trying to cover it up.
El-Mahroug, now 20, said she attended about a half-dozen parties, using her nickname Ruby, and that after each, Berlusconi handed her an envelope with up to 3,000 euros ($3,900) in denominations of 500. She said she later received 30,000 euros cash from the then-premier paid through an intermediary — money that she told Berlusconi she wanted to use to open a beautician salon despite having no formal training.