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Wednesday September 25, 2013 MYT 4:50:00 PM
Wednesday September 25, 2013 MYT 4:55:20 PM
by lizzy davies
Silvio Berlusconi with Francesca Pascale at a rally in Rome, Italy, on Aug 4, 2013. The disgraced leader says his partner has restored his faith in the true love of a woman. – EPA
Despite family disapproval, 28-year-old girlfriend waits for former Italy prime minister to pop the question.
IT’S tough being Silvio Berlusconi’s 28-year-old fiancee: on top of the stories of bunga bunga parties, Francesca Pascale had to contend with maternal disapproval when her parents discovered she was dating a man who, while still equipped with a deep tan and even deeper pockets, turns 77 this weekend.
“My mum told me: ‘We admire him, too, but he could be your father,’” the former TV showgirl from Naples says in an interview with Vanity Fair Italia, which carries a photograph of the couple in the former prime minister’s Arcore mansion on the front page of its next issue.
The timing of the feature is striking: Berlusconi, the billionaire centre-right leader, would be forgiven for having things other than romance on his mind as he weighs up whether to serve a sentence for tax fraud in community service or under house arrest. Meanwhile, senators are to vote on whether to expel him from the upper house of parliament. And the relaunch of his party Forza Italia does not appear to have led to a rise in the polls.
But who cares about politics when you’re in love with a woman who once sang: “If you show a bit of thigh, the ratings go up”? All Berlusconi has to do to get Pascale’s vote is to make good on the engagement ring he produced for her on Christmas Day 2011.
“I have sought him out; I have courted him; I have made him fall in love and get engaged,” she says. “I have done it all – and still do it all – virtually by myself. He just needs to say yes.”
Pascale describes how she had tried to leave Berlusconi her phone number when she was a teenage member of Forza Italia. She declared her love for the then-scandal-hit prime minister after his separation from Veronica Lario in 2009 and, she says, gritted her teeth while he entertained a procession of attractive young women at Arcore.
“Women threw themselves at him,” she says. “It wasn’t easy for me. I never attended those dinner parties because I knew I would not have been able to keep silent.”
Earlier this year, Berlusconi was convicted of paying for sex with an underage prostitute at one such evening, and abusing his office to cover it up. He is appealing against the verdict.
Berlusconi says Pascale has “given (him) happiness and asked for nothing in return” – apart, presumably, from a wedding ring. “She has restored my faith in the true love of a woman,” he says. – Guardian News & Media 2013
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Lifestyle, Lifestyle, Silvio Berlusconi, girlfriend, fiancee, Francesca Pascale, Vanity Fair
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