London, July 23 (ANI): Silvio Berlusconi has been issued with a writ following his attacks on the newspaper group, which published a series of audiotapes made by a prostitute of her alleged meetings with the Italian Prime Minister at his residence.
The business tycoon's personal life came under the limelight when the publishers of La Repubblica announced that it was suing him for attacking it as "subversive", reports The Times.
Since the release of the tapes made by a Bari prostitute, Patrizia D'Addario, during two encounters last year, Berlusconi has said: "I am not a saint."
Berlusconi, who owns or controls much of the Italian media, also singled out La Repubblica, implying that it should take a more relaxed attitude towards his behaviour.
The writ by the Espresso media group, which owns La Repubblica - Italy's second largest newspaper - accuses the Prime Minister of abusing his office and flouting market rules for seeking too much control over the media.
In one of the recordings, D'Addario is apparently told by Gianpaolo Tarantini, the man who allegedly selects girls for Prime Minister's parties, that Berlusconi did not use condoms.
Following the expose, Berlusconi did not seek to deny that his voice was captured on another tape in which a man's voice asks D'Addario to wait for him "on the big bed".
"I am not a saint - everyone understands that," Berlusconi said at the launch of a highway project, his first public appearance since the release of the tapes.
"We hope that our friends at La Repubblica will also understand that," he added. (ANI)