Italy’s Berlusconi hails Deneuve’s ‘blessed phrases’ on harassment
ROME (Reuters) – Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi hailed French actress Catherine Deneuve on Thursday for defending males accused of sexual harassment within the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
“Catherine Deneuve spoke blessed words,” mentioned the 81-year-old Berlusconi, who resigned in 2011 mired in scandal over his wild “Bunga Bunga” events with younger girls and below investigation over having intercourse with an underage prostitute.
“It’s natural that women are happy if a man tries to seduce them,” he mentioned in a tv interview. “I don’t have much experience with this because it’s always women who try to seduce me.”
Deneuve and 99 different French girls on Tuesday denounced a backlash in opposition to males, saying the latest worldwide marketing campaign in opposition to sexual harassment amounted to “puritanism” and was fueled by a “hatred of men.”
Within the aftermath of accusations in opposition to the U.S. film producer Weinstein, hundreds of thousands of ladies took to social media to share their tales of being sexually harassed or assaulted, utilizing the #Metoo hashtag.
Berlusconi nonetheless leads his conservative Forza Italia (Go Italy!) occasion and is mounting a political comeback forward of elections on March four, despite the fact that he’s personally barred from workplace due to a 2013 conviction for tax fraud.
The billionaire media tycoon was ultimately cleared in his intercourse trial in 2014 as a result of the decide dominated it couldn’t be proved he knew the age of the teenage nightclub dancer, Karima El Mahroug, higher recognized by her stage identify “Ruby the Heartstealer”.
Nonetheless he’s now on trial accused of bribing witnesses within the case.
Reporting by Massimiliano Di Giorgio writing by Gavin Jones; enhancing by Mark Heinrich