Francesco Chiesa Soprani’s claims, which were aired on Italian television last night, come as the former Italian prime minister rises in the polls and seeks to form a coalition government.
The 76-year-old media mogul denied having a sexual relationship with Letizia after he was photographed at her 18th birthday in 2009 and claimed he knew her because he was an acquaintance of her father.
However, Chiesa Soprani said: “Noemi told me how she knew the premier and told me how, when she was a minor, in Rome, she had consensual relations with him.”
Berlusconi, he added, was not a friend of Noemi’s father. “Because I know this, I want to tell Italians,” he said. Will I be threatened tomorrow? Will I be shot tomorrow? I’m happy like this.”
Berlusconi’s lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, said the claims were “totally without foundation,” adding that both Berlusconi and Letizia had denied reports of their relationship.
As stories emerged of Berlusconi giving Letizia a €6,000 gold necklace three years ago, his then wife, Veronica Lario, announced she was leaving Berlusconi, claiming: “I cannot stay with a man who frequents minors.”
She has since won a €3 million monthly divorce settlement.
Letizia’s former boyfriend, Gino Flaminio, 22, said at the time Berlusconi had been passed Letizia’s modelling photos by Emilio Fede, a newsreader on one of Berlusconi’s TV channels, and developed a “father daughter-like relationship” with her, before flying her on a private jet to his Sardinian villa, where she joined “30 to 40” other young female guests who were put up in bungalows.
Berlusconi also allegedly took Letizia to a government dinner in Rome honouring the fashion industry, where he sat her at the top table, before she was flown to Milan for an audition as a weathergirl on one of his channels, missing out only because of her poor diction.
The new claim they had sex has been made as Berlusconi stands trial for paying an underage prostitute for sex. The case in Milan centres on Karima El Mahroug, a Moroccan-born exotic dancer, who attended Berlusconi’s “bunga bunga” parties in 2010.
Following inconclusive elections in February, Berlusconi is seeking to form a coalition government with his centre left rival Pier Luigi Bersani, and is once again leading opinion polls.
Berlusconi’s public marital spat and the revelations of his relationship with Letizia in 2009 prompted prostitute Patrizia D’Addario to reveal how she had been paid to attend parties at the then prime minister’s Rome residence and to claim she had had sex with him.
Chiesa Soprani said yesterday he had met El Mahroug, better known as Ruby the Heart Stealer, in 2009 and told her he was a television agent.
He said Ruby replied that Berlusconi was taking care of her, “because I am a minor”. Berlusconi has said that during the time he knew Ruby he was unaware she was under 18. Prostitution is legal in Italy – for those over 18.
The agent said Ruby told her, “I am here because they pay for my house, they give me money and entertain me,” adding, “one screw more, one screw less, whatever”.