Cristiano Ronaldo and George Clooney to be called as witnesses in sex trial involving Berlusconi
Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and Hollywood star George Clooney are to be called as defence witnesses in a sex trial involving former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
The A-listers are among more than 200 people who will give evidence in the trial of three people who allegedly recruited prostitutes for energetic 75-year-old Berlusconi, who stepped down as premier last weekend.
Prosecutors claim regional politician Nicole Minetti, showbusiness agent Lele Mora and news anchor Emilio Fede, hired the women who were paid to attend bunga bunga parties.
The trial is due to begin in Milan next week but Real Madrid star Ronaldo and George Clooney are not due to appear until next year at the earliest.
Miss Minetti, 25, is said to have hired the women through her television connections and was rewarded with a job as a regional councillor in Milan with Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party, despite having no experience in politics.
She allegedly performed a provocative striptease for Berlusconi at the parties he hosted at his villa in Arcore, near Milan. In all more than 30 women were guests at the parties and were all said to have been paid with cash, jewellery and cars.
Fede, 80 and Mora, 55, are also said to have recruited women – among then Moroccan born belly dancer Karima El Mahroug, known by her stage name Ruby the Heartstealer, when she was only 17.
Defence Witnesses: George Clooney and Cristiano Ronaldo are going to be asked to give evidence in the high-profile sex trial in Italy
Berlusconi is accused of having sex before she turned 18. Although the age of consent is 14 it is illegal to have sex with a prostitute before she is an adult.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been called by the defence of the three accused because Miss El Mahroug claimed that she had a one night stand with him and then threw a glass of champagne over him at a Milan nightclub.
He denies the allegation and it will be used to show that she is a fantasist.
Clooney – who has admitted to being a guest at a party hosted by Berlusconi – will confirm that nothing untoward happened.
In an interview earlier this year the actor described the evening he had with the premier as ‘one of the most astonishing’ of his life.
Among others expected to testify at the trial are two women Ambra Battilana and Chiara Danese, who said they were left ‘shocked and embarrassed’ after attending the parties and had even asked to leave early as they felt so uncomfortable.
The trial is separate to the one Berlusconi faces for having sex with Miss El Mahroug and abuse of office and which is due to resume later this month.
As he is no longer prime minister he is not able to use the excuse of ‘legitimate impediment’ any more.
Miss El Mahroug and Berlusconi, as well as Miss Minetti, Fede and Mora all deny any wrong doing.
Nadia Alecci, who is Fede’s lawyer, said: ‘Clooney and Ronaldo have been listed as witnesses for Miss Minetti by her legal team Paolo Righi and Piermaria Corso.’
Tonight Paolo Righi, Miss Minetti’s lawyer, said: ‘We have asked for Ronaldo to be called as a witness because we believe that a young lady who says she met him did not meet him at all.’
Earlier this year when Miss El Mahroug made her claims, Ronaldo’s lawyers Schillings issued a statement in which they said her allegations were ‘wholly untrue” adding that they were ”demonstrably false.’