I chased ageing playboy Silvio Berlusconi, says ex-premier’s young fiancée as he attempts to rebuild reputation

Mogul,  who turns 77 on Sunday, was famously dismissed by his ex-wife as a man 'who consorts with minors'

Milan

Humiliated by his first definitive criminal conviction and with opponents preparing to boot him out of parliament, a desperate Silvio Berlusconi has wheeled out family and friends for a spot of decent PR.

But even an airbrushed photo shoot in the latest edition of Italian Vanity Fair, the ageing playboy and his young fiancée, Francesca Pascale, has produced sneers and titters, with 27-year-old Ms Pascale revealing she first fancied the ex-premier when she was a young girl – and under age.

Berlusconi, who turns 77 on Sunday, was famously dismissed by his ex-wife Veronica Lario as a man “who consorts with minors”. He is currently appealing against a conviction for paying for sex with an under-age prostitute, so Italians might imagine that dwelling on the half-century age gap between the couple had been marked off limits by the PR people.

“I was under age when I decided that I would get him,” said former Naples shop assistant, Ms Pascale, in the magazine’s cover feature. “I immediately offered to leave him my phone number and asked him for his.”

Berlusconi replied: “Well, you are keen,” according to Ms Pascale.

Some commentators speculated that the mogul wanted to show how some older men are pursued by women young enough to be their grandchildren. To underline the point, Ms Pascale reveals how “women threw themselves at him”.

Ms Pascale, who was a teenage activist in Berlusconi’s Forza Italia political party, said she was not put off by her boyfriend’s much-publicised sex parties. She added, however: “It wasn’t easy for me. I never attended those dinner parties because I knew I would not have been able to keep quiet.” She said in the interview that she hoped to marry the disgraced former premier.

Ms Pascale doesn’t say exactly what it was that first attracted her to the billionaire tycoon. But Berlusconi told Vanity Fair: “She has brought me joy without asking for anything in return.”

Next month, Berlusconi is due to begin his year of house arrest or community service as a punishment for tax fraud.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Ashdown Group: Senior .Net Developer - Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A long-established, technology rich ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Project Manager

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This growing digital marketing ...

Recruitment Genius: Electrical Quality Supervisor

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Midland's leading Solar Panels provi...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable