24 October, 2013

Silvio Berlusconi's divorce payments to ex-wife halved

Silvio Berlusconi's divorce payments to ex-wife halved
Mr Berlusconi and Ms Lario were married for more than 20 years

Berlusconi's era
Long goodbye
Q&A: Berlusconi trials
Profile: Silvio Berlusconi
In his own words

An Italian court has halved the amount of alimony payments that former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi must pay to his ex-wife, Italian media report.

Berlusconi - one of Italy's richest men - will now give the equivalent of $1.9m (£1.17m) a month to Veronica Lario and their three children.

Ms Lario, a former actress, filed for divorce in 2009.

Berlusconi said the three judges who had issued the earlier "unreal" verdict were "feminists and communists".

The couple met in a dressing room in 1980 after Berlusconi saw Ms Lario strip during a performance in a theatre in Milan.

They wed in 1990 and were married for 22 years.

'Love story'

The former prime minister has been embroiled in a series of financial and sex scandals.

Ms Lario demanded an apology for one of his flirtations in a letter carried on the front page of national newspaper La Repubblica in 2007.

She began divorce proceedings in 2009 after her husband attended the birthday party of an 18-year-old aspiring model. She accused him of consorting with minors.

Berlusconi lamented the end of the marriage, which he called his "love story".

In December 2012, a court ordered the billionaire media tycoon to pay Ms Lario more than $4m a month.

But Italian media are reporting that a review has now led to the alimony payments being cut in half.

Economic conditions were cited as a reason for the reduction to the alimony payments initially established by a Milan court, according to the Corriere della Sera.

Berlusconi, 77, has two other children from his first marriage. He is engaged to Francesca Pascale, who is in her 20s.

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