Escort linked to Italian PM 'gang-raped'

Patrizia D'Addario alleges local businessman and chairman of a minor league soccer team, Salvatore De Lorenzis, held her against her will at the villa in the southern Puglia region from Monday to Thursday.

High on drugs, De Lorenzis repeatedly attacked her together with two other guests and filmed the rapes, D'Addario alleges.

De Lorenzis took her mobile phone and tape-recorder before driving her to the rail station in the southern city of Lecce, she said.

De Lorenzis has dismissed D'Addario's allegations as falsehoods.

"She's a total madwoman, a drug addict and a prostitute. It's all complete lies, she's just blackmailing me like she did Berlusconi," he told the Telerama local radio station in a phone interview.

Prosecutors have opened a probe into the case after D'Addario arrived at a police station in Lecce Thursday in an apparently confused and distraught state. She declined a medical check-up, however.

De Lorenzis owns a video gaming company and is getting divorced from actress and Italian Big Brother contestant Carolina Marconi. He is also chairman of the Puglian soccer team Racale.

D'Addario sparked a major scandal last year when she taped her encounter with Berlusconi and released it to the press. She claimed he had failed to deliver on a promise to help her with a building development in her hometown of Bari.

Berlusconi, 73, admitted having sex with D'Addario but said he had never paid a woman for sex and didn't know she was an escort.

After her disclosures, D'Addario reported that her apartment was ransacked and items removed from it, including her computer, documents and underwear. She has also claimed to have received several threats.

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