Rome: Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s lawyers have dismissed media reports of allegations by two of the premier’s female dinner guests that the groping began at the table itself.
“The new claims published in several newspapers today concerning parties at Arcore have absolutely no basis in truth,” said Berlusconi’s lawyers Piero Longo and Niccolo Ghedini.
They were referring to testimonies given to Milan magistrates by two teenage beauty contestants who claimed they were among “around 15″ dinner guests at Berlusconi’s villa in Arcore Aug 22, 2010, almost all of whom were young women.
The antics began minutes after his guests sat down to dinner with some of the young women baring their breasts, 18-year-old Ambra Battilana and Chiara Danese were cited as telling prosecutors by Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica dailies on Wednesday.
The graphic testimonies contradict Berlusconi’s claims that dinner parties at his Arcore villa were invariably “elegant and sober occasions”.
Battilana and Danese claim they were unwilling participants at the party, where they were taken after a screen test as weather girls on the TV show of one of Berlusconi’s close friends, Emilio Fede, who is under investigation for abetting prostitution.
The women allege they voluntarily testified to prosecutors after receiving harassing phone calls that “tarred them with the same brush” as the dozens of alleged prostitutes including Moroccan teenage dancer ‘Ruby’ who prosecutors say had sex with Berlusconi.
Battilana and Danese told prosecutors that as soon as they had finished eating, Berlusconi asked the guests if they were ready for ‘bunga bunga’ or the alleged erotic after-dinner games at Arcore to which the women replied “Yes!” in unison.
The guests trooped downstairs to the villa’s underground discotheque furnished with a lapdancing pole and wall-to-wall sofas, Battilana and Danese said.
“As they danced, they fondled Berlusconi and let him fondle them. This is the game that he calls ‘bunga bunga’,” Danese added. The women called him ‘Daddy’ and sang the ‘anthem’ of his ruling People of Freedom party ‘Thank God for Silvio’, the girls claimed.
Fede and Berlusconi tried to get Danese and Battilana to join in.
“We were terrified,” Danese said.
Danese and Battilana allege they were horrified by what they saw and refused to join in the games, telling Fede they wanted to go home.
“Sure – leave if you want to, but forget being weather girls or making it to The Miss Italy contest,” was Fede’s alleged reply.