The family of former Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi has initiated legal proceedings to evict 20 women who were allowed to stay in his properties as compensation for their involvement in his prostitution trials, according to Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper. Berlusconi, who died of leukemia in June, was acquitted in February of paying models and showgirls to give false testimony in a trial where he was accused of engaging in sexual activities with an underage Moroccan prostitute. While Berlusconi admitted providing financial support and housing for the women, he contended that it was compensation for the reputational damage they suffered during the trials.
The parties that took place at Berlusconi’s properties in Milan and Sardinia were described by the Italian media and prosecutors as bacchanalian orgies, although Berlusconi referred to them as “elegant dinners”. However, the late prime minister’s family now wants the women out, but some of them are resisting. One of the women, Barbara Guerra, presented a recording of Berlusconi promising her ownership of a house near Milan once a pending corruption trial concluded.
Berlusconi’s legal troubles involving the women doesn’t end there. Alessandra Sorcinelli, a showgirl, received a letter from Berlusconi’s family instructing her to vacate a villa in Brianza by the end of the year. Sorcinelli sued the Berlusconi estate, claiming that she signed an open-ended contract to live at the property in 2015 and has recordings of Berlusconi promising to transfer ownership of the villa to her at a later date. She also alleged that Berlusconi pledged €3 million ($3.2 million) to her.
Italian prosecutors have revealed that since March 2012, Berlusconi has paid a total of €10.8 million ($11.6 million) to 21 women. The Moroccan prostitute involved in the 2014 trial, Karima El Mahroug, received about half of this sum. Berlusconi, who served as Italy’s prime minister on multiple occasions from 1994 to 2011, faced over 30 trials for various crimes, including abuse of office, defamation, association with the mafia, and tax fraud. However, he was convicted on only one count of tax evasion in 2013. His four-year prison sentence was later commuted to community service.
Before his death, Berlusconi reentered Italian politics and won a seat in Italy’s senate in November 2022. He criticized Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s support for Ukraine, accusing Kiev of provoking conflict with Russia and suggesting that Ukraine receives payment to seek a peace deal.
The ongoing legal battle between Berlusconi’s family and the women he housed highlights lingering unresolved matters left by the late leader’s passing. The women hope that the heirs will settle the matter amicably instead of forcing them to resort to legal action to protect their rights. The outcome of this case will shed light on the extent of Berlusconi’s involvement with these women and the validity of his promises to compensate them for their participation in his trials.