Berlusconi's wife wants to file for divorce: press

Sun May 3, 2009 8:13pm EDT
 
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By Silvia Aloisi

ROME (Reuters) - Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's wife wants a divorce, Italian media reported on Sunday, just days after she publicly criticized his party's selection of pretty young women to run in European elections.

"I have been forced to take this step, I don't want to add anything else," La Stampa newspaper quoted Berlusconi's wife Veronica, 52, as saying, adding she had already contacted a lawyer. La Repubblica daily and ANSA news agency also carried the report.

In a two-line statement, the conservative prime minister said: "This is a personal matter that saddens me, that is private, and it seems appropriate not to talk about it."

Last week Veronica, who two years ago demanded a public apology from her husband for flirting with younger women, said his party's choice of female candidates for the European elections was a "shamelessly trashy" process.

She was also incensed by him going to the Naples birthday bash of an 18-year-old woman, the daughter of an acquaintance, saying he had not attended the coming-of-age parties of his own children.

Berlusconi, a 72-year-old media tycoon, has said he was sorry his wife had apparently believed "what she read in the papers," blaming a campaign against him "hyped by the leftist press."

"ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE EMPEROR"

Berlusconi's People of Freedom party has been considering a number of starlets and television showgirls as possible candidates in the June European elections, media reports say. As party leader, he has a powerful voice in who makes the list.   Continued...

 
<p>Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his wife Veronica Lario (L) pose at Villa Madama in Rome in a June 4, 2004 file photo. Berlusconi's wife wants to file for divorce, Italian media reported May 3, 2009, just days after she publicly criticised his party's selection of young women to run in European elections. "I have been forced to take this step, I don't want to add anything else," La Stampa newspaper quoted Berlusconi's wife Veronica, 52, as saying. La Repubblica daily and ANSA news agency also carried the report. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/Files</p>