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Italian PM takes legal action over sexual misconduct claims

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Italian PM takes legal action over sexual misconduct claims

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Italy’s prime minister is suing an Italian newspaper for a million euros in damages for defamation.

La Repubblica has repeatedly printed 10 questions asking Silvio Berlusconi to clarify aspects of his private life. Berlusconi claims the questions are phrased in such a way that make readers interpret them as statements. Berlusconi is also taking legal action against France’s left-of-centre publication Le Nouvel Observateur and Spain’s El Pais, which printed photos apparently showing Berlusconi cavorting with topless women at his villa in Sardinia. The billionaire politician has also asked his lawyers to look at similar proceedings against a British newspaper. Some of La Repubblica’s questions focus on escort girl Patrizia D’Addario, who claims to have slept with the 72-year-old. Then there is Noemi Letizia, whose 18th birthday party Berlusconi attended earlier this year. Berlusconi denies all accusations of sexual misconduct but his wife, Veronica Lario, remains unconvinced. Lario says that on the day of the party, her husband had told her he had to attend an important meeting on refuse collection in Naples. She had previously accused Berlusconi of “frequenting minors”. After 19 years of marriage and three children together, Lario filed for divorce in May.