Milan

Priapus statue 'a bit of fun', says pianist at Ruby trial

'Provocative dancing, but no touching' at Berlusconi villa

Priapus statue 'a bit of fun', says pianist at Ruby trial

Milan, January 11 - A statue of fertility god Priapus was passed around at an August 2010 dinner party at the Villa San Martino owned by former premier Silvio Berlusconi in Arcore as a "joke", pianist and singer Danilo Mariani told judges at the so-called Ruby prostitution procurement trial on Friday. "I saw this statue with this thing," the entertainer told presiding criminal court judge Annamaria Gatto and the other magistrates. "The waiter brought it. It was just a bit of fun. It got passed around. People made jokes, but none of the guests mimed any sexual gestures". The pianist is a defense witness in the trial of retired TV anchorman and close Berlusconi friend Emilio Fede, bankrupt ex-talent scout Lele Mora and ex-Lombardy regional councillor and the ex-premier's former dental hygienist Nicole Minetti for alleged procurement of prostitutes, including underage ones, in connection with alleged sex parties hosted by Berlusconi. Ruby, Ambra Battilana, Chiara Danese, Barbara Faggioli, and Minetti were among the girls he saw at the Arcore parties, the witness said, adding there was no stripping. "There was dancing after dinner, and some danced more provocatively than others. There was never any touching," Mariani told the court.

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