Sex scandals did not stop Berlusconi’s political resurrection

MILAN, ITALY (‪‪NOVEMBER 6, 2017) (FORZA ITALIA) – Four-time former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was once more stealing newspaper headlines on Tuesday (November 7) after his right-wing bloc relished a huge political victory in regional elections in Sicily.

In a post-Harvey Weinstein world, logic would have it that someone like Silvio Berlusconi, who hosted wild parties with young women and brags about his masculine prowess, would not have a ghost of a chance at political resurrection.

But logic and Italian politics have never been known to be bedfellows.

Speaking in a televised address on Monday (November 6) 81-year-old Berlusconi smiled broadly as he thanked voters who had backed his centre-right group.

Professor Giovanni Orsina, speaking to Reuters at Rome’s Luiss university said most people did not judge Berlusconi by his old scandals and said his return to power was more to do with the weakness of his competitors rather than the strength of his political party.

Earlier this month, British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon resigned for repeatedly touching a radio presenter’s knee in 2002, relatively tame behaviour compared to Berlusconi’s past sex scandals.

For example, “Bunga Bunga” – the term of uncertain origin that the billionaire media magnate gave to wild parties with young women at his residence – is now part of the Italian lexicon.

Some Italians said Berlusconi would do better to stay at home with his family and enjoy his later years in peace. Others said that his past sex scandals didn’t bother them too much.

Berlusconi is due to stand trial on charges he bribed witnesses to silence them over accusations he paid for sex with young women. In an earlier, related case, he was acquitted of having sex with Karima El Mahroug (also known as Ruby) when she was still 17. He denies all wrongdoing.