Berlusconi blames 'feminist, communist' judges for divorce payout

Veronic Lario and Silvio Berlusconi

Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has blamed “feminist, communist” judges for a €200,000-a-day divorce settlement following the break up of his second marriage.

Mr Berlusconi told the La7 TV network that he was appealing against the settlement with ex-wife Veronica Lario.

Italian media initially reported the settlement amounted to €100,000 a day. But Mr Berlusconi said the figure, with arrears, was double that.

He said: “These are three women judges - feminists and communists, OK? These are the Milan judges who have persecuted me since 1994.”

Ms Lario filed for divorce in 2009, citing Mr Berlusconi’s fondness for younger women.

The billionaire media mogul is currently on trial, accused of paying for sex with an underage Moroccan girl and using his office to cover it up. He and the girl deny the charges.

Italian court officials later defended the impartiality of their judges. The president of the Milan tribunal and the head of the appeals court “strongly rejected any insinuation of impartiality” of the tribunal's judges, whom they described as “diligent professionals”.

Mr Berlusconi also was convicted by another Milan judge of tax fraud last year and is appealing against that decision.

The decision in the pay-for-sex case could come before elections next month. Mr Berlusconi has been on a media blitz seeking to boost his party’s chances.

Polls currently give the lead to the centre-left Democratic Party, with Mr Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party and the civic movement of premier Mario Monti vying for second and third place.

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