TIPPING POINT

Berlusconi's Prostitute Trouble

Italians are used to hearing of their eccentric prime minister's escapades with young women in the media, but the testimony of 23-year-old Barbara Montereale might tip his actions from the arena of the ridiculous to the despicable in the eyes of his constituents. Montereale testified about traveling to Silvio Berlusconi's vacation villa in Sardinia with Patrizia D'Addario, a prostitute. She was paid €1,000 by a third party to make the trip, and Berlusconi gave her rings and necklaces and a CD of love songs, as well as a bag full of money. Montereale said she never had sex with Berlusconi, but that D'Addario did, but didn't ask for money because she wanted his help in building a hotel. It appears Berlusconi is losing support in the face of his indiscretions. The Catholic Church is distancing itself from him, and he was booed at a political rally in Milan. "You disgust and repel me. But you communists without dignity will never bring me down," he shouted to the crowd.