Showgirl 'taped herself in bedroom with Italian PM'

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The Independent Online

A showgirl who claims that she and other women were paid to attend Silvio Berlusconi's private parties said yesterday that she had pictures showing her with the Italian prime minister in his bedroom.





Patrizia D'Addario, a former model and escort girl, said that she had given prosecutors audio tapes but also had secretly recorded video footage of her encounters in Mr Berlusconi's Rome residence, the Palazzo Grazioli.



Ms D'Addario, 42, who was yesterday described by a senior government figure as a high-class prostitute, said that the footage showed her standing in front of a mirror. A bedroom with a framed photograph of Veronica Lario, Mr Berlusconi's estranged wife, was in view. She said she had made the recordings "so that nobody could deny I had been there".



Ms Lario sued for divorce after Mr Berlusconi attended the 18th birthday party of Noemi Letizia, an aspiring model. She accuses her husband of "frequenting minors".



Police said they were checking Ms D'Addario's footage to ensure that the rooms shown were in the Palazzo Grazioli and that the voice on her tapes was Mr Berlusconi's.



Three other women who claim that they were paid to attend Mr Berlusconi's parties have also been interviewed by prosecutors. Mr Berlusconi, 72, who is not himself under investigation, has dismissed the allegations as falsehoods.



Prosecutors have drawn up a list of more women they wish to interview, as well as others who may have had a role. These include local politicians who put up Ms D'Addario as a candidate in the European and municipal elections on 6-7 June on behalf of the People of Liberty, Mr Berlusconi's party, and aides to Giampaolo Tarantini, the Bari businessman under investigation for allegedly supplying women for Mr Berlusconi's parties.



The scandal of "paid women" came to light during a three-month police inquiry into Mr Tarantini, 35, and his brother Claudio, 40, over alleged corruption involving contracts for hospital equipment. Alfredo Mantovano, the deputy interior minister, said that the latest revelations were fabricated by plotters trying to bring down Mr Berlusconi.



According to Italian reports, police records showed Ms D'Addario had advertised her services an escort. They said that two years ago she had gone to police after a prostitute was murdered, saying that she feared for her life, and denounced her then partner as a pimp. The man was arrested and convicted but released under an amnesty, reports said.



In further extracts from her interview yesterday in 'Corriere della Sera', Ms D'Addario said that she had never been asked to go to Mr Berlusconi's Sardinian villa, although she claimed that other women had been paid to do so.



"Giampaolo told me there was a possibility of a holiday abroad - I think it was Bermuda." Mr Berlusconi owns a villa on Bermuda.



Ms D'Addario said that she had twice been to Palazzo Grazioli; first in October last year when she had been paid €1,000, half the agreed sum, because she had not stayed the night. A second time in November she had stayed the night but had not been paid. She said she and other women had been taken from a hotel to the house in cars with darkened windows. They had been told to "dress elegantly, with not too much make-up".

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