Daughter comes to Berlusconi's defence


Marina Berlusconi’s comments, in an interview on Friday with the Corriere della Sera, came a day after Berlusconi again denied having ever paid anyone for sex and brushed off suggestions that he might resign because of the scandal.

Prosecutors in the southern city of Bari, meanwhile, said the premier does not figure in their investigations into a local businessman who has admitted to paying women to attend the premier’s parties. The businessman, Giampaolo Tarantini, has said he merely reimbursed the women for their travel expenses and brought them to Berlusconi’s dinner parties to show off. He has apologised to Berlusconi and said the premier never knew the women had been paid. On Friday, Marina Berlusconi — the premier’s eldest daughter — dismissed suggestions that Lario had started the campaign by going public with her accusations.
Marina, who heads the Mondadori publishing house in the premier’s media empire, said her father had been subject to a “lynching” by relentless  reports that were nothing more than “inflammatory slander”. “I know perfectly well how precious freedom of the press is because I am also an editor. But someone seems to have forgotten that every freedom has a precise limit,” she said.

“Sometimes, it has seemed that more than below-the-belt hits there have been true attempts to stab him in the back,” she said.

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