Berlusconi soap continues

2009-06-11 13:45

Rome - Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi's estranged wife believes her dignity has been besmirched in the fallout from a scandal that began with her suggestions that her husband had an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old model.

"What is true is that I have always loved him and planned my life in function of my marriage and my family," she said in a front-page letter published in Thursday's edition of Corriere della Sera, Italy's leading newspaper.

Veronica Lario, a former actress who is Berlusconi's second wife, has for years lived a very separate life from her billionaire husband. She announced in May that she had hired a lawyer to begin separation and divorce proceedings.

Berlusconi has repeatedly denied anything untoward and said he would resign "in an instant" if there were any truth to the whispers.

"In these weeks I have watched in silence, without reacting through the media, as my person, my dignity and my marital history has been brutally besmirched," she wrote. "What is certain is that there has been nothing near the truth (said) about my relationship," she said.

She gave no details, but there have been published reports suggesting marital infidelities on her part. In the meantime, paparazzi have besieged her, recently following her on a trip to a beach with her children.

The scandal failed to weaken Berlusconi's grip on power following the European parliamentary elections, even though his party received fewer votes than he had predicted.

But he is still under judicial investigation for using a government airplane to fly friends, entertainers and starlets for parties at his vacation villa in Sardinia. The premier's office said he did nothing wrong.

Read more on:    silvio berlusconi  |  veronica lario  |  italy
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