Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi lost his job thanks to his support of the Iraq war and alleged abuses of power, but he had another headache altogether this week. In a letter that appeared on the front page of a major newspaper, Berlusconi’s wife browbeat him for his public flirtations and demanded an apology—which she got.
In an act of venting pent-up exasperation, Berlusconi’s wife, Veronica Lario, took him to task in a letter on the front page of a major daily newspaper for openly ogling and commenting on starlets, and demanded a public apology for the “damage to my dignity.” Several hours later, she got one.
“Dear Veronica, here is my apology,” wrote Berlusconi, 70, a man not easily humbled, blaming on pride his earlier failure to ask forgiveness. “I was reluctant in private, because I am playful but also proud. Challenged in public, the temptation to give in is strong. And I can’t resist.”
Lario, 50, a former actress, was objecting specifically to remarks the flamboyant media tycoon reportedly made to female admirers last week as he greeted a showbiz crowd at an Italian television awards ceremony. The remarks were, as quoted in her letter: “I’d follow you anywhere” and “If I weren’t already married, I’d marry you.”
She wrote, “They are comments that I interpret as damaging to my dignity, comments that for the age, political and social position, family context . . . of the person who made them, can’t be brushed off as harmless jokes.”