Carla Bruni's G8 snub to sex scandal hit Berlusconi

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London, July 7 (ANI): Having played host to showgirls, a teenage model and a prostitute, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's suitability to receive world's first ladies for G8 has come under question, especially after French first lady Carla Bruni announced she would not attend the official G8 events in Rome.

The official party of First Ladies, including Michelle Obama and Sarah Brown, is expected to arrive today for a three-day visit to Rome and the earthquake-stricken city of L'Aquila, The Times reports.

Bruni, the Italian-born wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has a history of clashes with Berlusconi, will return to France on Friday.

Relations between the Bruni and Berlusconi soured earlier this year after Berlusconi reportedly told Sarkozy, that he "gave" him his wife. Berlusconi denied the comment.

Bruni was said to have remarked that she "was happy she had become French" after Berlusconi's gaffe about President Obama's "suntan".

The traditional gathering of leaders' spouses has come under scrutiny this year after Veronica Lario, Berlusconi's wife, announced that she was seeking a divorce because she could not stay with a man "who frequents minors."

The First Ladies' official tour will begin with a meeting with the Pope at the Vatican, where Italy's Equalities Minister, Mara Carfagna, the former nude model and Miss Italia contestant, will be representing the Government.

In 2007, Berlusconi's estranged wife Lario had demanded a public apology from him who had told Carfagna that he would "marry her tomorrow, if I weren't married already".

The wives will have afternoon tea with Clio Napolitano, the wife of the Italian President, who has replaced Lario as the official hostess.

Michelle Obama, who will be travelling with her daughters, Sasha and Malia, will meet the Pope at a private reception with her husband on Friday. (ANI)

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