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‘Ruby’ to testify at Berlusconi sex trial

The young Moroccan dancer at the heart of Silvio Berlusconi's sex trial was summoned by an Italian court on Friday to testify in May in a separate case of alleged procurement of prostitutes.

'Ruby' to testify at Berlusconi sex trial
File photo of Karima El Mahroug known as "Ruby the Heart Stealer". Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Karima El Mahroug was called to testify on May 24 in a trial against three Berlusconi allies — starlet turned politician Nicole Minetti, newsreader Emilio Fede and talent scout Lele Mora — for allegedly procuring dozens of young women for torrid parties at the billionaire's house.

Twenty-year-old El Mahroug, nicknamed "Ruby the Heart Stealer", is at the heart of a trial against Berlusconi.

The three-time former prime minister, 76, is accused of paying to have sex with her when she was just 17 and abusing his office to cover up the offence.

El-Mahroug had been on the witness list for both Berlusconi's defence and the prosecution but failed to appear when called. The court has relied on her previous statements to the police.

Earlier this month, she held a solitary protest outside the courts in Milan, demanding to be heard just as the case heads for a verdict and saying she had been "manipulated" by prosecutors and the media.

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CANNES

Berlusconi scandal mill inspires another film

Italy's three-time premier and billionaire Silvio Berlusconi continues to provide ample entertainment fodder, with the first English-language film about his scandal-filled life now in the works.

Berlusconi scandal mill inspires another film
Photo: AFP

Based on a journalistic expose, “The Marquise” by Emmy-nominated US producer Steve Jones will focus on a dubious property deal involving Berlusconi's mansion on a privately owned island, trade magazine Variety reported Saturday.

Jones told Variety he would travel to Italy next month to scout for locations and meet actors and potential directors.

The project is the latest of several films on the 81-year-old media mogul who staged a surprise political comeback in 2017.

It comes as Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino's lavish biopic “Loro”, about the tycoon's infamous “bunga bunga” party era, is about to hit the screens in Italy.

The two-part movie failed to make it into this year's Cannes selection.

Back in 2006, Nanni Moretti's Berlusconi satire “The Caiman” became one of Italy's most successful films that year.

READ ALSO: Italy court lifts ban on Berlusconi running for public office: report