As Eight Are Charged for Berlusconi Sex Parties, Putin Blames Jealousy

Prosecutors say Berlusconi associates supplied prostitutes to curry favor with the Italian prime minister

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As Italian prosecutors leveled charges of pimping and prostitution against eight people accused of hiring women to attend Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's so-called bunga bunga parties, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Berlusconi's critics were just jealous of his sexual prowess. On Friday, the BBC reported that prosecutors accused the eight -- who include businessman Giampaolo Tarantini, the alleged leader of a high end prostitution ring, and actress Sabina Began, known as the "Queen Bee" -- of paying girls to attend the infamous sex parties in order to gain "jobs, contracts, or favors" from the prime minister. Berlusconi, whose lawyers say he was unaware of the defendants' activities, hasn't been charged. On Friday Putin joked about the charges and the ongoing sex scandal, saying, "However much they nag Signor Berlusconi for his special attitude to the beautiful sex, and by the way they nag him mainly because of jealousy, he has shown himself as a responsible statesman," according to Agence France-Presse. Putin, who is good friends with Berlusconi, was speaking at an an international investment forum in Sochi, referring to Berlusconi's push for austerity measures in Italy.

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