Colourful Characters: Silvio Berlusconi
This week's Yellow Tail Colourful Character is head-the-ball Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi.
By Eoghan Doherty
It was always inevitable really, wasn’t it? JOE couldn’t write an article on the most colourful of characters without talking about the man who is literally the most colourful of them all – mainly on account of the 24 bottles of fake tan he (possibly) uses every day. That man is Silvio Berlusconi.
Just where the bejeebus do you begin? Silvio Berlusconi, born in 1936, has served as Prime Minister of Italy three times (so far), is the owner of AC Milan and he has recently been listed as the 169th richest man in the world.
Oh, and he loves Bunga Bunga parties. He’s only human after all.
Look at the head on him here:
Forget about all of that political mumbo-jumbo though, we’re only interested in the good stuff. So here are some JOE highlights of the man’s colourful life so far.
To start, here are five of his funniest most inappropriate quotes to date:
1) "I am, and not only in my own opinion, the best Prime Minister who could be found today. I believe there is no one in history to whom I should feel inferior. Quite the opposite."
2) "I am the Jesus Christ of politics. I sacrifice myself for everyone."
3) "Mussolini never killed anyone. Mussolini used to send people on vacation in internal exile."
4) "What's his name? Some tanned guy. Ah, Barack Obama! You won't believe it, but the two of them sunbathe together because the wife is also tanned."
5) "Italy is now a great country to invest in ... Today we have fewer communists, and those who are still there deny having been one. Another reason to invest in Italy is that we have beautiful secretaries."
Well said Silvio, well said.
And then there are of course the famous Bunga Bunga sex parties. The ex-Prime Minister denied ever having been part of the sexual parties and strenuously denied hosting them in his own villa. He was on trial for having sex with an underage prostitute named Ruby during one of his alleged ‘bunga bunga’ parties. Here she is in all her glory:
The wily old Italian denied paying the Moroccan girl for sex in 2010 when she was just 17 years of age and too young in Italian law to be paid as a prostitute. As Berlusconi so nicely put it, “Everything happened in front of staff and, at times, my children too came in to say hello,” he said in court.
Berlusconi has admitted to hosting ‘burlesque games’ at his residence though and prosecutors say they have dozens of girls who are willing to testify that they were part of sex games at the residence.
Which calls for another excellent lady-related Berlusconi quote, simply for the reason that it’s flippin’ hilarious:
“When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30% of women said, 'Yes', while the other 70% replied, 'What, again?'”
Not too many politicians get accused publicly of plagiarism but there certainly are exceptions. Sure, our esteemed leader Enda may have “borrowed” some of Barack’s finer lines when the US President came to Ireland, but it’s a special politician who gets accused of plagiarism by a rapper of all people.
That was the situation Berlusconi found himself in after he had supposedly written the musical masterpiece “People of Liberty” for his political party while running for election. The “original” song bore remarkable similarities to rapper Alessandro Aleotti aka J.Ax’s own music and he decided to take the Prime minister to court.
Court. Or as Berlusconi knows it, his home away from home.
Possibly used to getting his own way the courts for many years, Berlusconi may not have it so easy any more after he was more than a little displeased that that his divorce to Veronica Lario was going to cost him €200,000 a day. What does Silvio go and do? Blames the judges rather than his own indiscretions saying
“These are three women judges, feminists and communists, OK? These are the Milan judges who have persecuted me since 1994,” he said. He has been ordered to pay more than €35 million a year in alamony payments.
Silvio Berlusconi is also controversial that he doesn't even have to be personally involved when he's cauing a stir. The mere sight of an animated image of the man caused problems for Ford recently when he was used in an ad campaign. A number of advertisements, including one with former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi were created for the Ford India car by the JWT advertising group in India. Ford said that the ads were not for commercial use and appeared over the weekend without Ford’s approval.
One advert showed three scantily-clad women in the boot of the car with a smiling Berlusconi flashing a peace sign at the wheel, above the tagline: “Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot.”
So, regardless of whether you love the man or loathe him, he's undoubtedly one of the most colourful characters areound.
Here's one final clip of one disgruntled Italian man who mad ie clear that he wasn't Silvio's biggest fan. Berlusconi was left with a bloody nose after one disgruntled Italian attacked him while wielding a small souvenir of one Milan’s famous cathedrals: