London: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s 24 gifts worth almost GBP 200,000 given to the teenage dancer at the centre of the underage prostitution charge against him, have emerged.
Berlusconi, 74, is said to have given Karima El-Mahroug, better known as Ruby the Heart Stealer, two Rolex watches, one of which was worth EUR 50,000, an EUR 18,000 fur stole and the promise of an Audi R8.
He is said to have also given her a EUR 15,000 diamond necklace made by Recarlo, a Valenza-based design jeweller, which provided rings that he gave to 24 women MPs and 13 Senators at Christmas.
“The person who gave me the necklace is Silvio Berlusconi whom I met twice at Arcore,” the Telegraph quoted her as saying in reference to his villa outside Milan where the alleged “bunga bunga” parties took place last year.
El-Mahroug also revealed when questioned by prosecutors that Berlusconi had given her a red and black Valentino dress encrusted with Swarovski pearls, as a special gift on Valentine’s Day 2010 to mark “our first meeting”.
The list of gifts included Versace designer shoes and an array of diamond bracelets, pendants, rings and earrings many of which had diamonds and violet-coloured amethyst, which were her “favourite colour”, from top brands like Bulgari and Tiffany.
The Prime Minister apparently also promised her an Audi R8 but it was never delivered.
She said he also gave her an expensive “brooch” which was bought on Via Montenapoleone, Milan’s premier shopping street.
“In fact he told me I should not have a very low neckline, so the brooch helps to cover me up,” she told prosecutors.
El-Mahroug claims she was also given a Dolce and Gabbana Swarovski crystal designer watch. She said he gave it to her “because I told him that I didn’t like the Rolex watches”.
She denies ever having sexual relations with Berlusconi but said he gave her several gifts and EUR 7,000 in cash because he felt sorry for her.