Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi appeared in court on Friday to deny having sex with an underage prostitute.
The 76-year-old playboy billionaire told judges in Milan that he had never had sex with a then 17-year-old during his now infamous ‘bunga bunga’ parties.
Only someone ever the age of 18 can be paid as a prostitute in Italy.
Berlusconi said: “People were dancing at my home, but I’ve not danced since I made a vow not to when I was young. I’ve never given money for sexual favours, on this occasion or ever in my life.”
The young woman is Morrocan-born dancer, Karima El Mahroug, also known by her stage name, Ruby.
The former premier is also accused of abusing his powers of office by negotiating her release from police custody two years ago.
Ruby had been arrested on charges of stealing a 3,000 euro bracelet.
Belusconi denies all the charges.