Berlusconi invokes God's revenge over fraud conviction

Silvio Berlusconi

"Politicians get used to all kinds of slights after 20 years in politics. But there is one thing that cries out for vengeance before God and before man. I have been sentenced by a panel of judges in Milan!"

Asked about the parties that have been the sources of many of the sex scandals he has been involved in in recent years, Berlusconi said: "It was a time when I felt very lonely. I had just got divorced, my sister had died.

"Then someone said: 'Why don't we organise some soirees?' I was tricked."

Berlusconi said he was now more in touch with his daughter Marina "who mothers me" and was going steady with 27-year-old Francesca Pascale, a devotee from Naples who worked on Berlusconi's 2008 election campaign.

"She's beautiful on the outside but even more beautiful on the inside. Finally, I feel less lonely," he said.

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