Italy: Berlusconi escort 'tried to kill her ex and his wife'

Italy: Berlusconi escort 'tried to kill her ex and his wife'

The escort who claims she had sex with Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, Patrizia D'Addario, tried to run down and kill her former lover Giuseppe Barba and his wife earlier this week, he has claimed. Barba made the startling allegation in an interview published by the daily Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, reported AKI.

In the interview, Barba claimed that 42-year-old D'Addario, driving her Ford Fiesta car tried to knock him and his wife off their Vespa on Monday. He also claimed in the interview that D'Addario had spend 20 days in Qatar in March last year with a "prominent" politician from her native southern Puglia region.

Puglia's former tourism councillor, Massimo Ostillio, admitted he spend three days in Qatar last February, but denies D'Addario was with him.

Barba's wife claimed D'Addario was simply a 'blackmailer' in an interview with the Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno last week.

"Don't trust this woman. She tried to blackmail my husband witha tape recorder and now is trying to blackmail Berlusconi."

"She used the same tactic with my husband and now she's using it against Berlusconi - she claims she is frightened and that's why she carries a tape recorder but it's all about blackmail."

Police in D'Addario's hometown are investigating Barba, after she handed them recordings of him threatening her and which she claimed showed he had lived off her earnings as a prostitute.

D'Addario was seen entering the prosecutor's office in Bari in a short black mini-dress on Wednesday, but refused to comment on why she was there, saying only: "I have things to do."

In a statement issued by her lawyer Maria Pia Vigilante last week, D'Addario announced she would be taking legal action against "each and every public statement and slanderous accusation published about me in the press."

Italy's foreign minister Franco Frattini had claimed D'Addario and other prostitutes had been paid by the media to make "false accusations against Silvio Berlusconi".

D'Addario claimed to have stayed the night with Berlusconi on 4-5 November last year. Left-leaning La Repubblica and its sister weekly L'Espresso have this month published a series of audio clips and transcripts of conversations D'Addario says she recorded during her night with Berlusconi at his Rome residence.

The audio clips and transcripts included conversations D'Addario allegedly had with Gianpaolo Tarantini, the Bari entrepreneur who she say hired her to attend a party and sleep with the Italian premier. She alleges Tarantini paid her 1,000 euros for so doing so.

D'Addario has deposited with Bari prosecutors a series of tapes and photos which she says back up her claims.

Prosecutors in Bari and Rome are questioning dozens of young women allegedly recruited by Tarantini and his associates to attend parties thrown by Berlusconi in Rome and at his sumptuous villa in Sardinia.

Berluconi's wife Veronica Lario announced in May she was filing for divorce, saying Berlusconi was "unwell" and "frequented underage girls".

Berlusconi at first claimed the lurid allegations surrounding his private life were part of a centre-left plot to oust him from power. But last week, he sought to laugh off the allegations, publicly admitting he was "no saint."

"There are a lot of pretty girls around and I am no saint. People know that. I hope La Repubblica newspaper understands that as well," Berlusconi said.

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