Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was charged with paying for sex with an underaged girl 13 times in Italian court Wednesday. Prosecutors allege that Berlusconi hosted dinner parties that devolved into "bunga bunga" dancing--despite multiple media explainers, no one has defined this term to our satisfaction--and then sex. His aides are accused of hunting for 33 possible sex partners for the politician and explaining to the women that they'd be compensated for their efforts.
At the heart of the scandal is the Moroccan woman named Karima el-Mahroug and known as "Ruby the Heartstealer." She's now a legal adult, but was 17 during her alleged encounters with Berlusconi. Italian law forbids buying sex from minors.
Meanwhile, Berlusconi denies the charges and says he's the victim of a puritan witch hunt.
How is this guy still in office?
It seems like tthe minute we think Berlusconi's image can't sink any lower, a new spectacular revelation pops up in our Twitter feed. it's pretty hard to beat today's "13 Sex Acts" headlines, though, so we figured it was a good time to check in and see just how bad his image really is. So we turned to Google, whose algorthms are based in part on millions of users' most popular searches. Turns out Americans think he's worse than Italians, but only slightly.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.