78-Year-Old Berlusconi’s Romance With 28-Year-Old Francesca Has Reportedly Turn Sour

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Speculation that the former premier was ready to settle down and adopt a less prominent role in public life following a series of humiliations seem wide of the mark.
The tycoon’s professional and private lives are rarely out of the headlines. But the romance between Mr Berlusconi and Francesca Pascale had led some to speculate that he was ready to settle down and adopt a less prominent role in public life following a series of humiliations at the hands of the press and the courts.
Since the summer, however, rumours had suggested that all was not well between the media mogul and Ms Pascale, a former shop assistant and member of the Berlusconi fan club. Several reports even said that their relationship was on the skids; there were noted absences and reported tiffs. Ms Pascale appeared more wedded to the idea that the pair were engaged than did her boyfriend.

“She won’t be first lady of Arcore,” said the Turin-based daily newspaper La Stampa, after it emerged that the couple spent Christmas apart, with Mr Berlusconi at his principal home, Villa San Martino in Arcore. Ms Pascale, meanwhile, was settling into her a new apartment in Madrid, where she hopes to study languages.

In an interview last year with the Italian edition of Vanity Fair, the billionaire mogul, alongside Ms Pascale, expressed his gratitude for her support and affection during a period when he was publicly humiliated by the “bunga bunga” sex-party scandal, gained his first criminal conviction (for tax fraud) and was banned from parliament.

Ms Pascale said, in the same interview, that her boyfriend had only to “name the date”. But it now appears that day will never come. The mogul’s third-oldest child, Barbara Berlusconi, noted that it was “unlikely” that her father would ever marry again.



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