Berlusconi's 'Ruby the Heart-Stealer' gives birth to baby girl
The Moroccan woman at the centre of a sex scandal involving former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has reportedly given birth to a baby girl fathered by a nightclub owner more than twice her age.
Dancer Karima El Mahroug, better known by her stage name "Ruby the Heart-Stealer", was just 17 when Berlusconi allegedly paid to have sex with her last year, a crime punishable by up to three years in prison, the Herald Sun reported.
If convicted, the 75-year-old Berlusconi also faces up to 12 years in prison for abuse of power after he allegedly put pressure on the police to have El Mahroug, now 19, released from custody in an unrelated case.
According to Italian media, the baby and mother are fine, and the father, 42-year-old Luca Risso, who owned two discotheques in Genoa in northern Italy where El Mahroug worked, said his "happiness is impossible to describe".
Prosecutors allege that Berlusconi paid for sex with El Mahroug several times between February and May 2010.
At the trial, which is ongoing, a police officer earlier this month testified that El Mahroug was a prostitute.
Berlusconi has denied all charges and claims he only gave El Mahroug some money to help her out of a tight financial spot and intervened in her arrest because he thought she was the niece of then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
The trial began earlier this year when Berlusconi was still in power but has been delayed for months by a number of motions put forward by his defence lawyers, as well as the slow-moving Italian judicial system.