Berlusconi cuts off monthly retainers for models
ROME (AFP) - Italy's Silvio Berlusconi has cut off monthly payments of 2,500 euros (S$4,370) to a host of young women who attended his parties as part of cost-cutting measures by the ageing playboy, Italian media reported on Friday.
The decision could also have something to do with his coming under investigation for witness tampering opened by prosecutors in connection with his conviction for having sex with an underage 17-year-old prostitute.
"He helped us out, me and the other girls," said Ms Aris Espinosa, 24, one of the models and dancers known as "Olgettine" after the street in Milan, Via Olgettina, where they lived in apartments paid for by Berlusconi.
At one point, a total of 14 young women were living in the apartments and they were heard calling Berlusconi and his accountant in multiple police wiretaps to ask for more cash - referred to as "flowers" or "fuel".