The three Italian women, in an open appeal to the wives of U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other world leaders, urge them to refuse to attend next month's G8 summit in protest over Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's "offensive" attitude toward women, The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.
The Telegraph said the open letter and petition was written by Anne Maass of Padua University, Chiara Volpato of Bicocca University in Milan, and Angelica Mucchi Faina of Perugia University. It faults Berlusconi, 72, for his treatment of women "both in public and in private."
Berlusconi's wife Veronica Lario has accused him in recent months of maintaining an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old model and of sleeping with a prostitute at a party held last year in his Rome residence, the British newspaper said. Berlusconi denies his wife's claims.
The academics' letter says Berlusconi's attitude toward women has "transcended the personal sphere and assumed public significance," referring to his recruitment of show business women for politics, The Times of London said.
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