The Italian Almanac

George Clooney

Party Men

Hollywood star George Clooney and Brazilian footballer Cristiano Ronaldo are among over 200 witnesses that judges will hear in a case surrounding allegations that former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi paid for sex with a minor, the court said. "They are cited in testimony from an important plaintiff's witness," said Berlusconi's defense counselor Niccolo' Ghedini, claiming that their time on the witness stand would prove those allegations false.

Karima El Mahroug, a Moroccan runaway and belly dancer also known as Ruby who allegedly took money for sex from the ex-premier, has verbally testified to seeing Clooney at a party in Berlusconi's Sardinian villa. She has also testified to spending a night in a hotel with Ronaldo. The ex-premier blasted Milan prosecutors for adding 32 young women who attended his alleged sex parties to the list of civil plaintiffs. ''The only thing they did wrong was accept an invitation to dinner from the premier," he said.

In three ongoing trials and many previous cases, Berlusconi has always denied wrongdoing, claiming he is the victim of a minority group of allegedly left-wing prosecutors and judges who he says are persecuting him for political reasons. In more than a dozen cases, the ex-premier has never received a definitive conviction.