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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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Bunga-Bunga: Berlusconi On The Ropes?

January 26, 2011 - 6:23 AM | by: Greg Burke

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s future as government leader may not be as solid as it was just a few months ago, but allegations that he paid for a sex with a minor and hosted so-called “Bunga-Bunga” sex parties at his villa outside of Milan don’t necessarily mean that he is on his way out of power. Berlusconi, who denies that he has ever paid for sex, and that he has ever hosted girlie shows at his house for him and his friends, seems to be digging in even more in defending his position.

Berlusconi assured his political allies in a late-night meeting Tuesday that the storm will pass, and that he has every intention in moving forward with his government’s program. But it is quite a storm. In the middle of it are Berlusconi and a Moroccan dancer known as “Ruby the Heartstealer,” who investigators say was under 18 when she first frequented Berlusconi’s house.

Ruby has denied having sex with Berlusconi (in an interview on a Berlusconi TV channel). In fact, Ruby , now 18, claims the Prime Minister “never laid a finger” on her, but phone recordings leaked by the prosecutors’ office apparently tell a different story, one of cash in exchange for sex — and a promise of a lot more cash in exchange for silence. Berlusconi had an angry exchange on a TV talk show earlier in the week, with the Prime Minister calling in to describe the show as “an incredible TV brothel.”

It’s funny he would choose those words, very similar to those his critics have used to describe his parties, in which more than a dozen women would be prancing around half-naked to entertain the 74-year-old Prime Minister and a couple of his friends.

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