No bunga bunga: Berlusconi dancer Ruby hits out

The charges against Berlusconi, which he denies, include paying for sex with el Mahroug, better known under her stage name ‘Ruby the Heartstealer’, when she was a minor. She has always denied having sex with the 76-year-old billionaire during the now-notorious ‘bunga bunga’ evenings at his villa outside Milan.

Not a prostitute: Dancer Karima El-Mahroug stands with a banner reading ‘I want to defend myself against lies and prejudice’ in front of Milan's courthouse as she protests against the trial of former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi. Pic/AFP

Carrying a large sign reading ‘The Ruby case: Are you not interested in the truth any more?’, she said she had been used as part of a deliberate campaign against Berlusconi by magistrates and sections of the press.

“Today I realise that there is a war under way against him that I do not feel part of, but which has dragged me in and injures me,” she said, reading a prepared statement. “I do not want to be a victim of this situation.”

El Mahroug, her voice breaking at times, said she had been publicly humiliated by the implication that she was a prostitute. She said she faced ‘real and genuine psychological torture’ from magistrates once they realised that she would not provide evidence against Berlusconi. The trial has been suspended and the next hearing is due on April 22.

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