Berlusconi's Call Girl Tapes

Whether or not it's a media conspiracy, as Berlusconi alleges, this story keeps getting juicier. The Independent reports that three women have told Italian newspapers that they were paid to attend parties at the Italian prime minister's house and one of them taped her exchanges with him. Patrizia D'Addario, described by friends as a high-end prostitute from Bari, told one paper that she wore recording devices during her time with Berlusconi and has turned the recordings over to Bari prosecutors. According to the Times of London, a second woman, Barbara Montereale, D'Addario's friend who was also allegedly paid to attend the parties, said she was meant to share a room with D'Addario after a November party, but "I slept there alone. When she came back at 8 a.m. she told me she had been to bed with him [Berlusconi] but that he hadn't paid her because she had asked for a favor instead." Giampaolo Tarantini, the man who allegedly recruited the ladies, said that he didn't pay them--he merely reimbursed their travel costs and expenses. "It's absolutely beyond discussion that Mr. Berlusconi could have been aware of my reimbursements," he said.