Berlusconi divorce paves way for third marriage

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Silvio Berlusconi is now free to marry Francesa Pascale. Photo: Alberto Pizzo/AFP
11:56 CET+01:00
Italy's billionaire former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is officially divorced, paving the way for a possible future marriage with a woman almost 50 years his junior, the Italian media reported on Wednesday.

"Now Silvio Berlusconi can marry for the third time," following his divorce from Veronica Lario, the Corriere della Sera newspaper said.

"After three children, 22 years together and four years of separation, they are officially divorced," it said.

However the two are still in dispute about the financial details of the divorce settlement after a lengthy and acrimonious legal battle.

A court initially awarded Lario €3 million a month but the amount was subsequently reduced to €1.4 million after an appeal by the scandal-tainted tycoon.

Now Lario, 57, has appealed and a final ruling has yet to be delivered.

She announced her separation from the 77-year-old Berlusconi in May 2009, saying in an open letter to the media that she could not "remain with a man who cavorts with minors."

Corriere della Serra said it was now likely that Berlusconi would marry his current love interest, 28-year-old Francesca Pascale.

He is currently embroiled in three court cases, and went on trial last week for allegedly bribing a senator.

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He is also appealing a prison sentence for having sex with an underage 17-year-old prostitute and abuse of office and another for leaking a confidential police wiretap.

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