Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been wracked by scandal for over a week centered around a then- 17-year-old Moroccan girl, Karima Keyek. Allegations have surfaced that after the girl was arrested in May for theft, the prime minister may have pressured the Milanese police for her release, including telling them that the girl was Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's daughter.
While no stranger to scandals involving young girls, this episode may cost the PM politically, reports the Independent. The paper quotes parliamentary speaker Gianfranco Fini, a one-time ally of Berlusconi, as saying:
If the allegations are confirmed, the Prime Minister should step down.
If there was that intervention [by the Prime Minister and his office] and if it's true that it was claimed that the girl was the relative of a head of state, then it would indicate a nonchalance; a corruption symptomatic of the use of state office for private gain.
At first Berlusconi, speaking out on the scandal, defended himself by saying, "I love life, I love women." He's now taken a different tack, adding, "It's better to be passionate about a beautiful girl than a gay," reports the AP.
Ruby's often contradictory allegations center around her visits to the PM's luxurious villa, which she has termed "bunga-bunga" parties, according to the Guardian. The girl has denied having sex with the 74-year-old media tycoon.
The PM has been accused of similar events before, including an alleged affair last year with Noemi Letizia, an aspiring model, after he attended her eighteenth birthday party and gave her an expensive gift. Berlusconi denied the affair. The allegations are also being compared with the scandal over Patrizia D'Addario, a call girl who claimed to have been paid to sleep with Berlusconi. The Catholic magazine La Famiglia Cristiana has described Berlusconi's penchant for beautiful women as "a disease, something uncontrollable," reports the Telegraph.
Berlusconi has come under increased political fire recently as a trash crisis in Naples and economic hardship have plagued Italy.