04.04.133:09 PM ET

Berlusconi’s ‘Bunga Bunga’ Woman: I’ve Been Targeted

Karima El Mahroug is accused of being a prostitute who frequented sex parties.

The nightclub dancer who has been accused of being a prostitute at disgraced former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s infamous “bunga bunga” parties insisted in a protest outside court on Thursday that she has been falsely accused in part of a campaign against Berlusconi. Karima El Mahroug has always insisted she is not a prostitute and that she never had sex with Berlusconi, despite his having been charged with engaging in sex with her under her stage name, “Ruby the Heartstealer,” when she was just 17. Outside of court on Thursday, El Mahroug carried a large sign that said “The Ruby case: Are you not interested in hearing the truth any more?” and gave a tearful statement in which she said she had been humiliated by this situation. El Mahroug said she had been subjected to “real and genuine psychological torture” from the court magistrates when she said she could not give any evidence against Berlusconi.

El Mahroug did, however admit to lying to Berlusconi when she told him that she was the granddaughter of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who was then still in office. Berlusconi claims he believed her and that is why he asked a police station in Milan to release her despite her being charged with theft; he has been charged with abuse of office as a result. In total, Berlusconi faces up to 15 years in prison if he is convicted of the charges stemming from having sex with El Mahroug and getting the theft charge dropped.