Cutting down can be frightfully tough, specially when down-sizing from a 16th century Milan villa to another only to live under house arrest for the next twelve months… But for Signor Bunga-Bunga, the worse part was giving up his infamous entourage of prostitutes, showgirls and strippers.
But let’s not feel too sorry for the 76-year-old Italian politician, Silvio Berlusconi. After all, he has been allowed one female companion: his fiancée, Francesca Pascale, born a cool 48 years after his arrival onto the planet. The Italian press refers to Ms Pascale as a ‘shadow first lady.
Spoiled for choice as Berlusconi was, the question on everybody’s lips is, “Why her?”
The answer is deceptively simple: Determination, pure and undiluted of the Shebug kind…
The bronzed brunette might have under-gone cosmetic surgery and a makeover. But underneath her Hermès outfits, arched eyebrows and pulled back hair, lurks a murky background she is keen overshadow.
Ms Pascale first appeared on the scene singing a dirty ditty on a dodgy local television station in Naples. But her ambitions were considerably higher than suggestively sucking on an ice cream in a bikini.
When Berlusconi’s mad lifestyle hit the news and put his rule into question, Francesca put together a support group she named ‘Silvio, we support you’. But it wasn’t until she ambushed the prime minister outside a swanky Roman eatery and shouted at him, “Prime minister! How handsome you are”, that she registered on his radar.
From that moment on, she did anything but hide her determination to gain pole position alongside Berlusconi. In 2009, she even managed to get herself elected as a provincial councillor. The expression ‘turning back’ does not form part of her vocabulary. She means business.
Silvio Berlusconi is a tycoon who has lived a very thorough life, much like Roman Caesars of centuries past – minus the toga and laurel. He remains full of beans guilt-free and impervious to his utter lack dignity. No pity party for Silvio. Reports indicate that he is feverishly planning to return to the political arena in some capacity as we speak.
His fiancée knows this. She also knows he is not getting any younger and that he has amassed £4.9 billion. Shebug that she is, Francesca Pascale will not stop until Silvio says ‘I do”.
Her choice to imitate Evita Peron is no coincidence; that first lady slept her way to the top, though that was the lesser of her sins. Francesca Pascale and Evita are decidedly two birds of a feather!