Walk on Cadavers and Sell Your Mother

Escort Terry De Nicolo' in Italian TV Interview: Photo from Freeze Frame

A recent television interview with an Italian escort who allegedly spent the night with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reveals an unusual idea of how to be successful, “walk on cadavers and sell your mother.”  Her comments are interesting because they reveal an attitude towards life I’ve never heard before in Italy.”

But first a little background.

One of the stories I have covered for Associated Press Television News, and am continuing to cover, is the sex scandals of Italian Prime Minister Silvio. AP has strict social media guidelines and we are not allowed to express opinions on stories we are covering. But I don’t need to. The facts, the quotes, the videos and photos speak for themselves.
Karima El-Mahroug (Ruby) in Freeze Frame of APTN Footage

In December 2010 a Berlusconi sex scandal exploded involving a beautiful, young girl originally from Morocco. She went by the name of Ruby, short for Ruba-Cuori or “Heart-Stealer.”

According to court documents, Ruby attended numerous parties at Berlusconi’s villa near Milan, some when she was only 17, and later, when she was arrested for stealing, Berlusconi called the police headquarters in Milan and said that she was the niece of then Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and that he, the Prime Minister, would prefer to have her quietly released so as not to create problems.

Ruby (who was 17 at the time) was then released into the custody of Nicole Minetti, Berlusconi’s beautiful, voluptuous, former dental hygienist, now a member of the Lombardy Regional Council for Berlusconi’s party.

Nicole Minetti in t-shirt with words in Italian "Without this T-shirt I'm Even Better."

The Ruby story became more sordid as prosecutors began to dig. Tales emerged of 33 women attending ‘bunga bunga’ parties at the villa of the 74-year-old Prime Minister. Lele Mora, a TV agent for small-time TV starlets, together with Berlusconi’s friend, news anchorman Emilio Fede, and Nicole Minetti, procured the beautiful female star-lets, wannabee showgirls, and prostitutes for the parties.

Ruby described one such party in a TV interview. She said it began with a dinner where all the food followed a three-colored theme — red, green, and white, the colors of the Italian flag. She said that at the end of the evening Berlusconi gave her an envelope with 7,000 Euro in it. She insisted she did not have sex with him.

But other versions of these “bunga bunga” parties emerged in court documents of intercepted phone conversations.  Following the dinners, the starlets and escorts were encouraged to put on nurse or police officer costumes but remain topless underneath with just thigh-high nylon stockings and dance for the Prime Minister. After this entertainment, the young women were then taken to another room, where a Berlusconi aide handed out envelopes to the girls, filled with different amounts of cash.  A few would be asked to spend the night with Silvio. Confiscated diaries from some of the women who attended the parties noted the cash received in these envelopes ranged from 2,000 to 7,000 euros. But these were private parties and prostitution is not illegal in Italy. (Note: prostitution is legal in Italy, but not with a minor, and pimping is illegal).  Berlusconi did not get into trouble until it was discovered that the 17-year-old Ruby participated.

Berlusconi is currently being tried by a court in Milan for prostitution with a minor and using his power to cover it up. I covered the opening of the trial this spring (see photo).

Crush of journalists (including me) surrounding Ruby's lawyer outside Milan Courthouse after opening session of trial. April 6, 2011

The so-called “Ruby Trial” starts again on October 3rd.

Then in August a new sex scandal emerged when police arrested a businessman named Giampaolo Tarantini.  Prosecutors allege that he recruited and paid more than 30 women to attend parties at the Prime Minister’s Rome Residence (Palazzo Grazioli– right across the street from the AP office) and sometimes have sex with him.

Italian state television, RAI, did an interview with one of the women who attended those parties, and told prosecuting magistrates that she spent the night at Palazzo Grazioli with Berlusconi.  She is a 38-year-old escort named Terry de Nicolo’.

In my 17 years in Italy, I have never heard an Italian woman say anything similar.

She wore a low-cut, mini-dress for the interview and gently sipped what looked like a flute glass of champagne holding it with deep-red painted finger-nails.

The interview is in Italian, but I have translated some of her comments below.  She says ugly women should stay at home.  She says if you want to live the “life of a lion and earn 20,000 euros a month you should walk on cadavers and even sell your mother.”

She says “beauty is a value and if you are a beautiful woman you should sell you beauty.” and “that beauty should be paid just like one pays a doctor for his talent”

Here is my translation of some of her comments:

Responding to a question on whether she would go back to a party at Berlusconi’s residence:

“Certainly, if he (Berlusconi) invited me again, certainly I would return to Palazzo Grazioli (Berlusconi’s roman residence). Even if you go down in the street and ask a woman if she wants to go to Silvio she would walk there, no, run there.””If you are a beautiful woman, and you want to sell yourself, you should do it because beauty, actually above all beauty, is a value. If you are an ugly dog, and you’re disgusting then you have to stay at home because beauty is a value that not everyone has, so it should be paid, just like the talent of a doctor.”

Responding to a question on whether businessmen used women as bribes to get business deals from the Berlusconi government.

“I say that the definition of a woman as a bribe is wrong because the world has always been that way. I mean Tarantini did not invent hot water. This system has existed for many years, actually back to the First Republic (Italian Government from1946-1992).”

Responding to question about Berlusconi buying jewels and other gifts for the women who attend his parties:

“Excuse me, who do you think I am? With a dress like this one, what do you think I am going to do, go to a party with a rag costing 100 euros? Where would I go? As a minimum you want a Prada dress. There are many women who have a dress that is worth two, maybe five thousand euros, jewels, emeralds, with that you can go there, in front of the Emperor (referring to Berlusconi), what the hell would you do if you had a little chain from Dodo (inexpensive jeweler), you have to wear important things, and he appreciates them because he is an aesthete. “

Responding to question: Do honest entrepreneurs exist?

“When you are honest, you do not do much business. You remain small, in my opinion. No? (laughs) Unfortunately it is like that. If you want to increase your numbers you have to risk, you have to risk your ass. It is that way, it is the law of the market. The higher you want to go, the more you have to walk on cadavers.””Here no one understands because there is this Catholic idea, a moral idea, that’s what infuriates me, the moralistic idea on the left that everyone has to earn 2000 euros per month, that everyone has that right. No, no, no, here there is the law of who is the strongest, who is a lion. And if you are a sheep, stay at home with your 2000 euros a month, but if you want 20,000 euros a month you have to play the field, you have to sell you mother, I am sorry, but it is that way, and I think that.”

If you can understand Italian or are curious to see the original interview, here is the link:

4 thoughts on “Walk on Cadavers and Sell Your Mother”

  1. Left pretty speechless by this one and agree with Alan. It is the only explanation for such blatant, intense disconnectedness that I see in some of these comments.

    Poor Ruby.

    All of this makes me understand why Lady Gaga donned that meat dress. Makes perfect sense to me.

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