Now, Berlusconi faces claims that he paid women to be at his parties

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London, June 18 (ANI): Silvio Berlusconi has come under fire once again as prosecutors opened an inquiry into allegations that young women were paid to attend parties at the Italian premier's private residences.

It has been reported that the showgirls were selected by two businessmen brothers to be at parties thrown by the Italian prime minister at Sardinia villa and at a mansion he owns in central Rome, reports The Telegraph.

One of the recruited women told the newspaper Corriere della Sera that she had been promised 1,700 pounds if she attended two events at Berlusconi's 'palazzo' in Rome.

Also, a former showgirl and model in her late twenties, Patrizia D'Addario claimed she was ultimately paid only 850 pounds because she had broken an understanding about how long she would stay at Palazzo Grazioli.

The findings came to the limelight after the businessmen, Giampaolo and Claudio Tarantini, were wiretapped by police during a separate probe into allegations of corruption in the sale of supplies to hospitals in Bari, in Puglia.

The brothers' lawyer, Nicola Quaranta, said: "We know absolutely nothing of the existence of this, neither has the prosecutor's office in Bari made us aware of such an investigation."

Berlusconi, already reeling from his highly public divorce battle and attack from critics over photographs of topless women at his Sardinian holiday retreat, denied the allegations, saying: "Once again the newspapers are full of rubbish and falsehoods. I certainly will not let these acts of aggression get to me. I will continue to work as ever for the good of the country."

Berlusconi's private life has been in the news since Veronica Lario, his wife, demanded a divorce after he attended the 18th birthday party in Naples in April of an aspiring model, Noemi Letizia. Lario accused him of "frequenting under-age girls" and said he was "not well". (ANI)

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