Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's private life is again in the spotlight after audiotapes of his alleged encounter with an escort girl at his Rome residence were posted on the internet.
The Italian daily La Republica and its sister weekly, L'Espresso, published bits of the alleged bedroom conversation between Berlusconi and Patrizia D'Addario, the woman whom his aides describe as a prostitute, reports The Times.
D'Addario claims to have made the recordings during two visits that she made to Palazzo Grazioli, Berlusconi's Rome residence.
The tapes have been presented as evidence to back her claims.
In one, Berlusconi apparently tells D'Addario to wait for him on the four-poster 'Putin bed' -- said to have been a gift from Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister -- while they each take a shower.
Berlusconi is heard to say: 'I will take a shower as well
and then wait for me on the big bed if you finish first?'
D'Addario replies: 'Which bed that Putin one?'
Berlusconi: 'The Putin one.'
D'Addario: 'Oh how sweet, the one with the curtains.'
The 72-year-old business tycoon has not denied that the woman went to his residence but has said that he did not know she was an escort.Daniele Capezzone, spokesman for Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, called the posting of the conversations 'pathetic'.