Berlusconi Gets Blackmailed, Says Italy Is 'Shitty'

We haven't heard all that much about our good friend Silvio Berlusconi lately. But it turns out he's been busy doing some of the things he does best: talking shit, and giving money to people under shady circumstances.

According to the Guardian, in addition to his ongoing underage-prostitution case, Berlusconi is now under investigation for allegedly paying off people who had dirt on him. One was businessman Giampaolo Tarantini, who allegedly "supplied 30 women for parties at the prime minister's Roman palazzo." Tarantini's now been arrested, and the magazine Panorama says Berlusconi was paying him to keep that 30-women business out of the public eye. Berlusconi has a different explanation:

I helped someone and a family with children who found themselves and continue to find themselves in very serious financial difficulty. I didn't do anything illegal. I limited myself to helping a desperate man without asking for anything in exchange. That's the way I am and nothing will change that.

He's so generous. But not where talking about his country is concerned. Authorities say he was also being blackmailed by a newspaper editor named Valter Lavitola. In a wiretapped conversation, he told Lavitola,

They can say about me that I screw. It's the only thing they can say about me. Is that clear? They can put listening devices where they like. They can tap my telephone calls. I don't give a fuck. I … In a few months, I'm getting out to mind my own fucking business, from somewhere else, and so I'm leaving this shitty country of which I'm sickened.

Really, Silvio? You're going to leave the country that lets you stay in power despite your addiction to saying and doing the most offensive possible thing in virtually every situation? Good luck finding someplace better.

Berlusconi Vows To Leave 'Shitty' Italy In Conversation Recorded By Police [Guardian]