London: Silvio Berlusconi has announced his engagement to his TV presenter girlfriend Francesca Pascale, who is 49 years junior to the former Italian Premier.
The 76-year-old billionaire made the revelation in a wide-ranging interview aired on the talk show ‘Domenica Live’ on his Canale 5 TV network.
“Finally I feel less lonely. I am engaged to a Neapolitan, it’s official,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
“She is 27 years old, with very solid values, beautiful on the outside and even more beautiful on the inside.
“She is very close to me, she loves me very much and I feel the same. My daughter Marina appreciates her and loves her very much too,” he said.
There had been rumours about his new relationship for months and the pair had been photographed together recently while watching Berlusconi’s football team, AC Milan.
The romance was confirmed by Daniela Santanche, an MP in his People of Freedom (PDL) party, and one Italian newspaper recently described her as Italy’s new “first lady.”
Pascale, a former shop assistant, served as a provincial councillor in Berlusconi’s centre-Right PDL party until she stepped down in July.
She was one of the founding members of a support group for Berlusconi called “Silvio, we miss you.”
“Little by little she worked in my political organisation, then close to me,” Berlusconi said.
“She is a great friend of Marina’s,” he asserted.