Silvio Berlusconi prostitution-ring wiretaps: sex with eight women in one night, "I'm only prime minister in my spare time"

Italian magistrates investigating a prostitution ring have been wiretapping prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, and have recorded the oligarch boasting about ordering eleven women for a single night (he was only able to have sex with eight of them), complaining that meeting with David Cameron and the Pope interferes with his womanizing, and stating that he is only prime minister in his spare time.
Berlusconi, who boasted to one TV showgirl that he was only "prime minister in my spare time", told Tarantini in September 2008 that he needed to reduce the flow of women since he had a "terrible week" ahead seeing Pope Benedict, Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel and Gordon Brown. Berlusconi has long insisted that his private parties are informal but elegant affairs, that extend only as far as joke telling and songs, but is revealed on the tapes as putting pressure on Tarantini and his associates to conjure up beautiful female guests...

In a letter published in the newspaper Il Foglio, Berlusconi hit back at the latest wiretaps, claiming: "My private life is not a crime, my lifestyle may or may not please, it is personal, reserved and irreproachable."

Silvio Berlusconi wiretaps reveal boast of spending night with eight women



  1. “my lifestyle may or may not please, it is personal, reserved, and irreproachable.”

    Further evidence that the human capacity for self-deception truly knows no limits.

    1. I think there’s a too many characters there. “Berlusconi has long insisted that his private parts are informal but elegant” pretty much sums him up. Hmm, I wonder if that’s where Dominic Strauss-Kahn had come from prior to the New York hotel incident. Perhaps he should have claimed “It was a flashback, man.” But in either French or heavily accented and almost completely opaque English.

    2. I’m not normally offended by the sight of a penis, but the photo of that little bockwurst is threatening to burn a hole in brain.  Ewwwwwww.

  2. The only reason this d-bag is Prime Minister is because he literally owns or controls interest in a majority of the media outlets in his country.

  3. Here we go again… Berlusconi is vile a criminal corrupter, a political mobster and generally a person who fashions himself a modern equivalent of a decadent emperor, using the whole state he should be serving primarily for his personal gain. Yet nobody gives a shit until they discover he’s actually having sex. Then it’s suddenly righteous indignation all around.

    1. It takes a universal, reptile-brain-triggered, guilty-for-possibly-having-fantasies-about stimulus to get enough people to generate the right kind of time-for-herd-leadership-change chemicals in their hind brains to fire off. None of us are immune to it. Education helps manage the effect, that’s all.

        1. I’m pretty sure that the Pope is not high on the list of politicians who will let a little sexual misconduct get in the way of important business…

          If anything, Berlusconi’s penchant for mostly consentual(if often paid) postpubescents is practically boy-scout material by papal standards.

      1. You have no idea what Italians know or don’t know. Last week while commuting I overheard two old women discussing about this issue, and concording that it couldn’t be true because how could it be true when Obama, Putin and all the other world leaders admire and respect Berlusconi so much and ask him for advice?

    2. But the same thing happens in the US: there is all manner of blatant war profiteering/illegal and hugely destructive wars, the theft of billions of dollars, corporate/state cronyism to high heavens..but the only scandals that actually stick are sexual: Lewinsky, Weiner’s Wiener, Spitzer’s call girls, various right wing closet cases being caught out, etc. etc.

      Nobody gives a shit about anything that actually matters, but we all glob over all sorts of nonsense.

      I chalk it up to two things: 1) Sexual pecadillos are easy an universal to understand, while for instance war and financial crimes aren’t and 2) our news media are nothing more than shills and propagandists for the corporate class, no more impartial than Pravda 3) Most people, being humans, are basically sexual ‘perverts’ (defined as someone who enjoys natural sexual expression outside the realm of constricting and destructive Christian morality), but the powers that be use this to string them up whenever they piss off the wrong people, and rule the world through a system of universal blackmail.

      The last two don’t apply to Berlusconi, of course. He’s a fascist scumbag, through and through, who is entirely in league with the very worst people in the world. He has simply been to damn flagrant, and there are too many pictures to hide.

  4. I think it can be legitimately argued that politicians are human…in their spare time (ours especially).

  5. Being italian myself (and not sure about feeling still comfortable with it) I just hope italians will stop voting him and keep believing all the lies this man(?!) is sayin. But you know what? I don’t think italians are smart enough for that!
    And also, left wing parties are unable to really build an alternative… sad but true!

  6. Seems to me the last time Italy had such a leader they eventually hung him upside down on meat hooks at gasoline station.

  7. Something was lost in translation: the quote about being prime minister in the spare time was a sarcastic comment Berlusconi told to a lady who was waiting for him for (presumedly) paid sex, and complaining that he wasn’t there. Of course, seeing the facts, it seems that the joke might be a good description of his occupations.

  8. this guy is a disgrace for the country of italy and its people. i already said to a friend of mine, if I were italian i would be ASHAMED a rat like this is “leading” my country. 

    how can anyone still consider this disgusting man an able politician let alone a good human being. 

  9. the funny part is that, being a head of state and a member of Parliament, his lines are legally un-tappable. The juicy bits are coming from the phones of the gilrs and of one of the pimps (who, in more than one occasion, has directly given him a mobile fot the use of). One of the gilrs (about to turn legal at the time) famously said last year about another one: “She’s his darling. I am the ass.”

  10. And btw– a lot of politicians are “decent human beings.” It’s not, for one thing, like the pay is always THAT great.

  11. I have a hard time condemning Berlusconi as a leader on sexual grounds.  I think we can either advocate for our own sexual freedoms and privacy, or we can morally condemn our leaders for their affairs, but we can’t have it both ways.

    His words, “My private life is not a crime, my lifestyle may or may not please, it is personal, reserved and irreproachable,” might just seem funny when he’s been caught on tape bragging about sleeping with eight prostitutes in one night.  But I happen to agree with him – his private life is private, and it’s not our place to applaud one man’s experiences with prostitution (re: Chester Brown’s “Paying for It”) and then somehow say someone else should be fired from their job for using the same service.

    But on every other kind of ground, I abhor the guy, so I suppose whatever gets him kicked out of office is fine by me…

  12. Yeah…I’m all for privacy…my late lamented playboy Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau famously said:  “We take the position that there is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation” 

    True dat…he was speaking specifically about the decriminalization of homosexuality, in 1967,  but, of course, this idea should also include the idea that whatever consensual sexual activity one can have/get is… nobody’s business.

    Public figures who advertise are open to judgement, of course. Mr. Berlusconi has been running his country into the ground, stifling free speech through monopolization of the media and generally behaving like a jerk.

    And, he’s PROUD of having banged eight women in one night? With chemical help, obviously. I’m  with @Aloisius:disquson this one…totally didn’t leave them satisfied. Of course, they were probably paid, I hope well, so had no expectation of such, but still.  Hardly a macho triumph. And @SerfCity….please…Italian women are quite used to the idea that their husbands might leave them for younger women…it’s a pretty universal concern for wives, really . I expect they are pissed because Berlusconi has routinely dismissed/harassed women politicians.  Also, Italian media, much of it Berlusconi-owned, features young,  barely-clad women all the time.  In the absence of young, naked men, this sends a clear message about “his” attitude to half of the country he is supposed to represent.Seriously, if you want to give him a pass, imagine the notion the US president elect, Hilary Clinton, was known to be hiring/banging seventeen year old American boys at drug-fueled orgies on the public tab.You would be totally behind that action…right? 

  13. OK guys who are like “OMG HE’S LIVING THE DREAM WHAT A PLAYA!!!” need to remember the small but somewhat significant detail that he’s PAYING all these women to be with him. Otherwise they’d be treating him with the amount of concern as they would show to a turd as they press the “flush” button. Deep inside he knows how pathetic he is, otherwise he wouldn’t have the need to fortify his sense of self-worth with bravado and boasting. 
    Having worked as a lap-dancer, it never ceases to amaze me how men can delude themselves into thinking that a woman whose attention they had to pay to get somehow finds them irresistibly attractive…

    1. All relationships between strangers are transactional, at least when they start out. They may eventually morph into something more, but to deny the transactional nature of human interactions is disingenuous at best.

        1. MRAs?

          I think you’re pretty much speaking in a foreign tongue when you talk like that in this here corner of the global web. 


  14. What is the point of achieving wealth, fame, and power if you don’t know what to do with it?

    Good on him for living the dream.

    1. Good on him for living the dream.

      If your dream is hookers, hair plugs and orange spray tan, I pray that you wake up soon.

  15. SerfCity  Oh ha…last time I checked, American women were holding on to bodily autonomy by their fingernails. You know Roe versus Wade is under attack at the state level all over, yes? I’m sure the sexuality of US women public figures is not being policed…at all. No we, here, thank dog, much as I love the States and Americans! Yes, it’s not unknown for women to engage in all sorts of sexual shenanigans. They might even pay people for sex! It’s kind of a thing with all us humans. If anyone knows about significant numbers of women confident enough about their “needs” to go abroad and buy sex with minors, please jump right in here. That’s a measure of equality I don’t want to miss/criticize!  If you think US women political figures could act like Berlusconi and remain in office, I will point you to Sarah Palin’s recent rejection of the rumour that she slept with a basketball player. Let’s see, well-connected, wealthy, politically active (hopeful candidate?), conventionally attractive, white straight, American woman feels the need to… vehemently..reject the VERY THOUGHT that she might have banged ONE beautiful young athlete, outside of marriage…interesting. Could this be because she, and her handlers, feel…strongly…that the American public will fail to support any woman who is seen to behave this way?I would argue Palin is every bit as big a fool as Berslusconi. The playa option is just not open to her…because she is a woman. It’s called the status quo for a reason.I agree that media monopolies are a worldwide scourge…Italy, the US, Canada, the UK…yup. Rupert Murdoch is not the Prime Minister of the UK, tthough so it’s hardly equivalent.I SAID that Italian women were pissed because Berlusconi dissed Italian women politicians and because his media empire is horribly, horribly misogynyst. You claimed they were just projecting their married lady fears…because women cannot have legitimate political concerns about their leader, I guess.   You called @millie fink a troll and you are not  really engaging with my arguments, so I guess we are done, here.

  16. Obviously, I WOULD want to criticize any woman who went abroad to buy sex from minors…I tend to rant faster than I edit.


    1. I read an article/essay or something years ago written by a lesbian who, for some reason I can’t recall, went to Thailand or someplace similar and was going to buy sex from a minor. I think she was depressed and hadn’t been in a relationship for years. Due to the nature of the keywords related to this story, I’m unable to find any reference to it on google.

      She ended up being deeply moved by the depravity of the situation and basically just snuggled with the girl and slept with her (in the non-sexual sense of the word slept) the whole night.

      Not sure what the girl thought about the situation – must have been quite strange to her – but I want to think she was glad that she got to just sleep for the night instead of being violated by a string of dirtball men.

  17. Until our politicians are post-human I don’t know why I’m supposed to be surprised.  I want to try (and fail) to sleep with 11 women.  Everybody’s a puritan, apparently…….

  18. @boingboing-38d15f3f6091875e7c0ec844d37db656:disqus

    Of course, if I were known to try (and succeed) to sleep with/buy the services of 11 men, I’m guessing very few people would allow me to ever gain, much less keep public office.

    Be sure to apply “human” to everyone, folks…

    @bumpngrindcore I said I would criticize people buying the services of minors. And, I think Madonna’s honey more of a trophy husband, no?

    1. I understood you were talking about under-age people working in the sex industry due to lack of economic options, I was just playin’ ’round seeing how teh mens would react to a girl exhibiting the same predatory intentions. First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the man-whores. ;-)

  19. @Antinous_Moderator:disqus you moderated in the middle of my rant! And I was just getting wound up! How awesome! Thank you…

  20. This is only a part of truth , that with which they want to influence your perception of reality. – The real  problem is not  what  Silvio does at his home. – The problem is  that his telephones are intercepted  without authorization, and  details of his private life, that  have no penal importance, are passed to newspapers. – And this only happens with Mr. Berlusconi. –

    1. Yeah, sure. “They” are conspiring against him, it’s just a coincidence that some of the women involved in this story got state tv jobs, and the pimps (men and women) got state contracts and jobs as regional councilors or became MPs.

      And of course it’s another coincidence that while they lived on public money their primary job, as demonstrated by these wiretaps, was organizing “parties.”

      1. I’m always amazed that Italians defend Berlusconi, but then I remember this picture as proof that true love between the people and their leader never dies.

        1. Under any rule there are some that benefits, perhaps greatly so.

          The problem is that regimes, of any kind, is a package deal.

      2. How comes you are so informed about mr berlusconi life?
        What about mr. Penati or  mr. Fini problems ?
        No clue?

        1. Mr. Fini’s “problem” was probably manufactured by the same man (Lavitola) who we just learned was receiving from Berlusconi 800.000 euros to deliver to Tarantini and who’s currently absconding on Berlusconi’s orders. That puts it on a very different light, doesn’t it?

          Mr. Penati waived immunity and statute of limitations and he will be put on trial. If he’s guilty I hope he will end up sharing Berlusconi’s cell.

          If I were you I’d avoid both arguments, you think you’re defending your beloved Silvio but you’re just demonstrating that the supposed “conspiracy of left-wing magistrates” to remove him from power and protect the Italian left it’s just propaganda for the fans, the magistrates will investigate politicians on both sides if they have reason to suspect crimes (see also Mr. Del Turco or Mr. Tedesco).

          1. Maybe I missed something?Boing Boing has ever speaked about Penati or Fini?Or maybe Fassino or Dalema? You do seem well informed, butI am wondering if the same happens with all Boing readers.-

          2. Could it be that a politician accused of mismanagement or corruption is not news but something taken for granted?

            Find me another President or Prime Minister with the kind of charges this post is talking about and you’ll probably find that BoingBoing reported the news.

          3. I think your missing the point here.  This is basically horrified pointing and laughing at how immoral and corrupt the Italian Prime Minister is.  Pointing out that his main opposition may also be immoral and corrupt, well that kind of just makes it more funny and horrifying.

  21. So: Fact is that mr Berlusconi is 75 years old.-Italian Magistrates are wiretapping him ( 100.000 telephone calls wiretapped).-Now they (Italian Magistrates) are informing us ( the rest of the world)that he had eleven womens outside his door waiting for him, and thathe had sex with “just” eight of them.-Porca miseria! He surely is better than Rocco Siffredi !I will surely vote again for him next time, he is my hero.- Silvio forever, Viva Silvio!

  22. i wish more politicians were like him.    busy in the bedroom,  paid or not,   instead of meddling with MY life,      just think, president knocking boots?  or president expanding the powers of the TSA to feel me up at the airport?    Senator knocking boots?  or senator further selling off our national lands to oil companies…     could i go on?  sure, but you get the point.    I’d rather more politicians screw up their lives, than use the government to screw up mine

  23. here is a link from auditel

    on september 17th 2011 the TV share in Italy was  28,1 for state tv (yes, in Italy we
    have state run TV), 37,4 for Mediaset (that is berlusconi’s TV) and 32,4 for other TV (local and
    satellite TV).-

    So, how comes you say that: ” 86% of the whole tv share is in control of mr berlusconi” ?
    You are a liar, mr. Peppino Spezzaincanti, and you know it.-

    Then you say that “Berlusconi is not wiretapped, he can’t be” and then you add that
    ” We get recordings of him only if Berlusconi calls somebody that’s under investigation (or viceversa) ”
    In my book,that is wiretapping mr. Peppino Spezzaincanti.

    And you say ” WE get recording of him…”

    What you mean with “WE”, mr. Peppino Spezzaincanti?


    disgusted by a lot of the comments.

  25. He’s only the leader of Italy.  Which in world terms is looking pretty silly and precarious right now.

    Isn’t it amazing how anyone on their way up gets shot down fast by the merest indiscretion (seems to me that in Italy that means noisily shagging the maid on the balcony overlooking the piazza at Cappucino time), whereas this profligate dissolute fella has been all over the news for years and years like a rash (bet he knows a thing or two about those), and can’t be taken down?

  26. I was just re-reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide… the description of the Galactic President suits Berlusconi.  I will henceforth refer to him as Zaphod.  Gods, I just hope the US manages to hold off electing a Zaphod Beeblebrox of its own, at least for another 4 years…

  27. Do not waste your time replying to Morodi. There are just two categories of people in Italy that still believe to Berlusconi: people on his payroll (there are lots) and old ignorant ladies. Now, old ignorant ladies have no internet access…

  28. Berlusconi is not wire-tapped; unfortunately, he’s surrounded by various scammers, pimps and whores who are, and he calls them with predictable regularity. Likewise Obama is not wire-tapped either, but he doesn’t usually call pimps and whores, as far as we know.

    Your paranoia about “foreign propaganda” is quite funny, all considered, coming from a country where half the press and most tv stations are owned by one man (who also happens to run the government — what a coincidence). But then again, it’s the same country that literally invented effective State-run mass propaganda, so it’s not entirely surprising; you get the same sort of attitude from Chinese and Iranian commenters, these days.

    Besides, I’m Italian and I’m not ashamed: we have the politicians we deserve, from the first to the last. Italian elites are culturally, morally and economically bankrupt, and denial won’t change anything.

  29. I do not know where do you get your information…maybe on the internet?1) Berlusconi IS wiretapped.-2) “scammers, pimps and whores” : your words, not mine.-3″)half the press”: that is not true La Stampa, La Repubblica, Il Corriere della Sera   the first  three most read newspapers in Italy are NOT   Berlusconi owned.-4)”most TV stations” : I live in Rome and I receive one hundred TV stations,   and 3 (three) are owned by Mediaset, Berlusconi’s family company.-5) you say that “I’m Italian” but it seems that you know nothing about   Italian press and television: how comes?6) “invented effective State-run mass propaganda” : what is that? what are you   speaking of?7) “i’m not ashamed” what does it mean?

  30. Berlusconi is not wiretapped, he can’t be. We get recordings of him only if Berlusconi calls somebody that’s under investigation (or viceversa) more than 80% of the italians use television as the only medium to get news from, I think that nobody in italy would care less of what newspaper says, as long you have total control of TV (86% of the whole tv share is in control of mr berlusconi)6) i think he was talking about fascism, they were pretty good at it

  31. Morodi, you’re boring. You know the answers, come on. One way or the other, Giornale, Libero, Padania and the various Monrif papers (Giorno, Nazione, Resto del Carlino, which sell in HUGE numbers) are controlled by Berlusconi, either directly or indirectly. HALF the press, more or less, as I said.

    You live in Rome, lucky you, nice place with horrible traffic. Until a couple of years ago, free-to-air NATIONAL television channels were 7: three State-run (now controlled by Mr. Berlusconi through government), three owned by Mr. Berlusconi, and a relatively-obscure one owned by the local telecom monopolist. Now thanks to satellite and digital, things are changing, but I can guarantee you that 90% of the population still watches those same 6 channels. If you don’t believe this, please look at Auditel data and advertising numbers.

    I’m Italian, but I left about ten years ago. Things were shit then, and they’re worse now.

  32. here is a link to auditel

    the tv share on 17th September 2011 for Mediaset (berlusconi’s TV) was
    You say that “86% of the whole tv share is in control of mr Berlusconi”
    Please mr. Spezzaincanti, where do you get your data from?

    Then you add that “Berlusconi is not wiretapped, he can’t be. We get recordings of him only
    if Berlusconi calls somebody that’s under investigation (or viceversa) ”
    So Berlusconi is not wiretapped directly, is wiretapped only when someone calls him.-
    So it seems that if you have 30 friends and I wiretap them all but I do not
    wiretap you, I can say that you are not wiretapped.- Nice trick, indeed.- 

    And then, you said “WE got recordings….”
    Please, mr. Spezzaincanti, what do you mean with “WE” ?

    6)  fascim: ended in july 1943, we are in september 2011, wake up

  33. here is a link
    and is referred to median daily newspaper sales between august 2008 and july 2009
    as you can see corriere, repubblica, la stampa totaled about 1,385,000 copies per
    day versus a grand total of 2,750,000 copies.- Berlusconi controlled newspaper
    giornale and libero totaled less than 300,000 copies.-
    You say that berlusconi controls “half the press”.- Where do you get your data
    You left Italy ten years ago, maybe your data are a little outdated.-
    As for TV shares, read my reply to mr. Spezzaincanti.-

    And, you know, maybe I am boring, but you seem to me a liar.-  

  34. As I said, you keep ignoring the Monrif group, which is big and whose numbers are spread; and you obviously ignore the largest publishing business in the country, Mondadori, again controlled by a certain Berlusconi family. Maybe it’s because you don’t read books, which would explain you not getting my reference to the policies of another short strongman in Italian history, himself quite the paranoid about “foreign Jewish pluto-democratic plots”.

    Oh, and on TVs, of course you forget the RAI State-run channels, controlled by the government. But hey, I really shouldn’t stop you from looking the fool in front of our international friends.

  35. Perhaps you know the saying: opportunity makes the thief. It means that men will steal when given the opportunity to do so unpunished. I am not very informed on the matter. But I do know that Mr Berlusconi changed the law to make and keep himself immune from criminal persecution basically forever. Why do that, or even try, it if you have nothing to hide? If you are innocent?This is what I know: mr B has a vast private media empire at his disposal and wields a degree of power over public media as well, so he must be able to exert some degree of influence over how he’s percieved. Then he has some major business interests to boot and he can direct a degree of investment from the state as well. And finally, he is -or at least has been for a long time- legally immune to any criminal persecution. You’d pray that anyone with that kind of clout would have a strong moral character. But…….this is what I see: a myriad of completely unqualified yet attractive women whom he appointed into high public offices. Close ties to people of a very questionable reputation. Accusations of corruption that just won’t go away, in a nation that is famously corrupt as it is. And actively extending laws of immunity for the head of state to ridiculous lengths. And I see a 70+ year old man of power, not recognizing the wrong, any wrong, in sleeping with girls who are completely and utterly powerless and either minors or close enough to it.  Loads of power + media control and influence + no morality. None of it is proof. perhaps nothing is wrong. But to be glad that your country finds itself in that situation is simply ridiculous.

  36. data, toyg, data, not words.- Give me a link, if you can.-
    You said that “half the press” is controlled by Silvio, and it is not true.-
    You said that “90 % of the population watches those six channels” and it is not true.-
    You seem to me , at best, a little out of time,-
    Wake up toyg, Italians are not as stupid as you would like them to be.-
    You keep offending, you said that I am boring, now you are sure
    that I do not read books: THAT is really stupid, you know.-

  37. You’re boring. These are the Auditel data for the evenings in February-May 2011: As you can see, Mediaset gets 37%, RAI 43%, LA7 less than 3%. When you take into account that most of the other channels are specialized (only sport, only movies, etc.) or local, and that just a few months ago the FCC-equivalent fined the three Mediaset channels and two RAI channels because their news programs were completely unbalanced in favor of the government the picture is dreary.

  38. You forgot RAI, on which he has complete control, 86% is the sum of RAI, Mediaset, and all the minor channels that owns.

    I’d like to remind you that in the latest wiretappings Mr. Berlusconi was using a cell phone registered in PANAMA under another name, so nobody was aware that this was a cellphone owned by him… 

    by saying that WE got recordings I mean WE as public opinion, Troll.

    6) actually we continuously fall in love with bald bullies

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