Milan

Berlusconi loses fight to get estranged wife's alimony cut

Still has to pay Lario 3 mn a month

Berlusconi loses fight to get estranged wife's alimony cut

Milan, April 25 - Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has lost his fight against a sentence that forces him to pay his estranged wife Veronica Lario three milion euros a month a year in alimony. Milan judges turned down an appeal against what Berlusconi called an "unreal" verdict from "feminist and Communist judges". The three-time premier has one appeal left, to the high court. The appeals judges retrospectively exempted Berlusconi from paying Lario for five months in 2012 when she was still living at his villa. Lario left Berlusconi after he attended the 18th birthday party of an aspiring starlet and friend in Naples in 2009, accusing him of consorting with minors. At Christmas a Milan court ended a three-year legal tussle between the separated couple, who had been together for 30 years and have three children together. According to the sentence, the media magnate and centre-right politician, 76, will give 56-year-old Lario 36 million euros a year but will keep sole possession of his luxury villa outside Milan and his vast business empire will not be touched. Berlusconi slammed the "non-consensual" sentence on January 24, saying it was "unexpected" and "detached from reality". He said he would dispense with his lawyers and talk directly to Lario about it. On January 9 a Milan court rejected Berlusconi's claim of bias on the part of the three-woman panel that decided on the figure. The ex-premier, who is currently on trial for paying for sex with an underage prostitute and has had a string of scandals involving escorts and a stable of aspiring starlets, claimed the judges were biased against him because of their political ideas. The couple's marital ups and downs have been well publicized over the years. A media firestorm lit up in 2007 when Lario demanded a public apology from her "flirtatious" husband in a public letter to the editor of the La Repubblica daily, which published the contents on the front page. "I am asking for a public apology, given that I haven't received a private one," she wrote in the letter. The pair made up after Berlusconi said sorry and presented her with an expensive birthday present, disguising himself as a dancing sheikh. When Lario filed for divorce after Berlusconi's appearance at Neapolitan teen Noemi Letizia's birthday party, the ex-premier told the gossip magazine Chi that he regretted the end of his "love story". Born Miriam Raffaela Bartolini, former actress Lario was Berlusconi's second wife. Berlusconi was smitten after seeing her perform topless in a Milan play about a philandering husband called The Magnificent Cuckold in 1980. Lario's had a bloody cameo in Italian horror master Dario Argento's 1982 film 'Tenebre' (Shadows). She played a woman who had her hand chopped off and yelled for a few seconds as her wound bled. The snippet was cut when the film aired on a Berlusconi-owned TV channel in 2004. Lario and Berlusconi married in 1990 after the media tycoon left his first wife, with whom he has two children, both executives in his media empire. Berlusconi announced in mid-December that he intends to wed for the third time. He is engaged to Naples-born Francesca Pascale, almost 50 years his junior.

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