Berlusconi’s wife to divorce him

The wife of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has confirmed that she will file for divorce.
Veronica Lario reportedly said she could not be with a man who „consorted with minors“ after her husband attended a female friend’s 18th birthday party.
Ms Lario had also clashed publicly with her husband over his party’s plan to choose certain female candidates for the European elections.
The 72-year-old billionaire prime minister has not commented.

Ms Lario is Mr Berlusconi’s second wife and a former actress. The couple have three children from their 19-year marriage, all in their 20s.
‘Shameless rubbish’
La Repubblica, a leading Italian newspaper, said Ms Lario’s decision came after reading about the 18th birthday party in Naples.
„That’s enough, I cannot remain with a man who consorts with minors“, she was quoted as saying.
Another newspaper, La Stampa, quoted Ms Lario as saying she had been „forced to take this step“.
Relations with her husband were already said to be frayed after Ms Lario had criticised her husband’s choice of young and attractive female candidates with little political experience to represent his Freedom Party in the forthcoming European elections.
In an e-mail to an Italian news agency, she said the plan amounted to „shameless rubbish“ being put on „for the entertainment of the emperor“.
Mr Berlusconi said his party was aiming to select female candidates because „we want to renew our political class with people who are cultured and well prepared“.
Candidates standing for the party would be unlike the „malodorous and badly dressed people who represent certain parties in parliament“, Mr Berlusconi added.
Mr Berlusconi has not commented on the divorce reports. His lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, said it was a „strictly personal matter“.
Two years ago, Mr Berlusconi issued a public apology to his wife for flirting with young starlets at a party.
Mr Berlusconi has two elder children from a previous marriage who are now in charge of his media empire.
The Italian prime minister’s private fortune is estimated by Forbes magazine at $6.5bn (4.4bn).

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