Prostitute tells all about Berlusconi on live TV

Call-girl says Premier knew she had been paid for attending parties in Rome and Sardinia

Any hope Silvio Berlusconi might have had of putting the summer sex scandals behind him evaporated last night when state television broadcast a live interview with the prostitute who claims to have taped her intimate bedroom conversations with the Italian Premier.

Patrizia D'Addario – who at 42 is more than 30 years Mr Berlusconi's junior – has already made what she claimed were tapes of their intimate pillow talk. But the potential political embarrassment she might cause on live TV had the government incandescent in the run-up to last night's broadcast.

And she duly delivered by dismissing the Prime Minister's claims that he was unaware that she was a call girl, in a live interview beamed from the southern city of Bari. "He knew – everyone at the parties knew," she said in reference to the now infamous gatherings the media mogul premier hosted in Rome and Sardinia.

Mr Berlusconi, whose Mediaset empire controls three private TV channels, dismissed the show as a "criminal use of public television". "Inviting a prostitute on to throw mud at the prime minister is a disgrace," he had earlier told La Stampa newspaper.

The Italian leader denies having paid for sex, or knowingly sleeping with prostitutes, and has dismissed claims by his estranged wife that he frequents minors, including Noemi Letizia, a would-be starlet whose 18th birthday party he attended.

D'Addario, who faced hovered on a giant screen above the seated guests, flicked her long blond hair nervously as she listened to Berlusconi supporters accuse her of exploiting and then betraying the Prime Minister.

She denied however, that she had given the supposed recordings of their pillow talk to the press. And she said that she had "absolutely nothing to be ashamed of".

Although the explosive mix of Italian politics and scandal has made headlines around the world for months, it is only in the last week that the country's own television outlets have broken the silence regarding D'Addario's claims.

State broadcaster Rai aired pre-recorded clips of her on last week's Annozero show, drawing 5.6 million viewers but provoking strong condemnation from the Berlusconi camp and a campaign for viewers to boycott paying their licence fee.

Annozero host, Michele Santoro, whose belligerence stands out in a sea of supine Italian TV presenters, yesterday shrugged off threats of fines and official investigations, revealing that the provisional title for the show had been "No Gianpi, no Party".

Businessman Gianpaolo Tarantini, to whom he was referring, is said to have procurred D'Addario and other prostitutes and paid their wages for Berlusconi's notorious "festini", or adult parties, in Rome and Sardinia. Tarantini was arrested two weeks ago for suspected cocaine dealing.

Earlier, deputy communications minister, Paolo Romani, had warned that the government would be "even more attentive" about whether RAI was adhering to its public service mandate, in view of the new D'Addario interview. He has launched an inquiry into Annozero, using an article of the broadcasting constitution that enables ministers to subpoena documents and check sources. He warned that if RAI was found to have broken its public service remit on grounds of fairness and decency, it could face fines "amounting to three per cent of its total turnover" – about €2.5 million.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border