Italy PM did not have sex with girl says ex-boyfriend

Sun May 31, 2009 6:16pm GMT

By Daniel Flynn

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi did not have sex with a teenage girl at the centre of a scandal that has wrecked the conservative leader's marriage, the girl's ex-boyfriend said. In a letter to Italy's best-selling Corriere della Sera newspaper, Luigi Flaminio apologised for having talked publicly about Berlusconi's relationship with aspiring model Noemi Letizia.

"I only told the truth," Flaminio said in the handwritten letter printed by Corriere on Sunday.

"Now they are insinuating that he (Berlusconi) had sexual relations, something which I rule out a priori and is impossible knowing Noemi and her values."

He said his earlier remarks to the left-leaning La Repubblica newspaper had been used to attack the 72-year-old Berlusconi, whom he called "a man of the people."

Berlusconi's relationship with the young woman came to light when he was photographed at her 18th birthday party in Naples last month, prompting his wife to demand a divorce and raising an outcry from Italy's opposition.

Berlusconi, still riding high in opinion polls and leading his party's campaign for next week's European elections, insisted he was a friend of Letizia's family and denied any "steamy affair."

However, La Repubblica quoted Flaminio as saying the prime minister had first telephoned Letizia after seeing her in a modelling catalogue and had hosted her at his villa in Sardinia when she was still a minor.

Letizia has repeatedly said she is a virgin.   Continued...

<p>Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives to present the new Piaggio Mp3 Hybrid scooter at Chigi palace in Rome May 28, 2009. REUTERS/Remo Casilli</p>
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