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Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi who bounced back from bunga bunga parties scandal dies aged 86
12 June 2023, 09:42 | Updated: 12 June 2023, 12:22
Former Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi dies aged 86
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has died at the age of 86.
The billionaire politician and media mogul, 86, was dashed to Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital on June 9. He was admitted into hospital with heart problems and shortness of breath amid an ongoing battle with leukaemia.
He was admitted to intensive care at the same hospital in April after suffering breathing problems. He was discharged on May 19 after spending 45 days in hospital.
Guido Crosetto, Italy's defence minister, has paid tribute to Berlusconi - saying the former Italian prime minister leaves behind a "huge void".
He wrote: "An era is over, an era is closing. I loved him so very much."Goodbye Silvio."
Mr Berlusconi was in a relationship with 33-year-old Forza Italia MP Marta Fascina.
His health had deteriorated in recent years, having undergone open heart surgery in 2016 and numerous hospital admissions since contracting Covid-19 three years ago.
He previously overcome prostate cancer, which he described as 'a nightmare lasting months'.
Overcoming Covid-19 in 2020, he said it was the ‘most dangerous challenge’ of his life.
The controversial three-time prime minister of Italy had been embroiled in several scandals during his life, most notably his ‘Bunga Bunga’ parties.
He first came to office in 1994 and led four governments until 2011.
He led the centre-right Forza Italia party which went into coalition under Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni after elections in September, when he was elected to Italy's upper house, the Senate.
In the 'Bunga Bunga' scandal, he was accused, but later acquitted, of paying young women for "silence and lies" surrounding the infamous gatherings, which he always insisted were dinner parties.
Berlusconi was also temporarily banned from politics after a tax fraud conviction in 2013.
He served a community sentence and made his way back into the spotlight before being re-elected as a senator in 2022.