Italian ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi, known for his “bunga bunga” parties and fondness for younger women, is praising Catherine Deneuve for warning against a courtship backlash following the swell of sexual misconduct allegations against prominent men, Washington Post reports.
In a late-night talk show Thursday, Berlusconi said Deneuve had pronounced “holy” words in saying men should be free to hit on women. Berlusconi joked that usually women hit on him, but that it was only “natural” that women enjoy being courted by men.
“It’s not an offense to court women if it stays in the realm of elegance,” he said on RAI state television’s “Porta a Porta” program.
Berlusconi has long characterized his sex-fueled “bunga bunga” parties, where showgirls and models were paid to attend, as “elegant soirees.” Though he has faced years of legal woes, he has never faced sexual assault allegations, and a 2013 conviction for paying for sex with an underage woman was overturned on appeal.