London: Over 30 models and showgirls who were allegedly hired for Silvio Berlusconi’s “bunga bunga” sex parties have denied being prostitutes, at the start of a trial in Milan.
The 32 women applied to be admitted as injured parties to the trial, with their lawyers claiming that their reputations had been badly damaged by the prosecution’s allegations that they sold themselves for sex, the Telegraph reported.
It was not a question of the women asking for money, but of wanting to protect their “honour”, their lawyers said.
The trial centres on allegations that women were procured for the former Italian Prime Minister by three of his most trusted associates – Nicole Minetti, an Anglo-Italian showgirl who under his patronage was propelled into politics in Milan; Emilio Fede, a television anchorman on one of Berlusconi’s television channels; and Lele Mora, a talent scout who is currently in prison for bankruptcy.
Prosecutors insisted the women took part in sex parties at Berlusconi’s mansion at Arcore, near Milan, in which they performed “stripteases and erotic dances” for the billionaire businessman.
Berlusconi has denied paying the women for sex, saying he simply invited them to “cheerful, elegant dinners,”
But Ambra Battilana and Chiara Danese, two teenage beauty queens, said they were so shocked by what they witnessed at one of the parties that they immediately asked to be taken home.
They said Berlusconi told crude jokes and encouraged the women to undress.
The two women said that they were labelled “escorts” in their home towns in Piedmont in north-western Italy after media reports emerged of their attendance at the party.