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Ruby testifies at Milan trial of alleged Berlusconi pimps

May 17, 2013 at 4:40 PM

MILAN, Italy, May 17 (UPI) -- The woman at the center of the sex abuse trial against former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says he invited her to his home and offered his help.

Karima El Mahroug, a former nightclub dancer known as Ruby, testified Friday at the trial of three people accused of finding prostitutes for Berlusconi, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

The defendants in the case are retired TV anchorman Emilio Fede, former talent scout Lele Mora and Nicole Minetti, a former regional councilor from Lombardy.

Mahroug testified that Berlusconi called her after they first met, invited her to his home and offered to help her.

Mahroug also said that she had a private bedroom in Berlusconi's Milan villa.

"[Berlusconi] told me that I could stay the night there," Mahroug testified. "So I stayed alone."

Berlusconi also often gave her cash, Mahroug said. "I was always given an envelope full of money," she said.

Mahroug further said that three women -- Minetti, Michelle Conceicao and Miriam Loddo -- helped get her released from prison when she was arrested in May 2010.

Conceicao told Mahroug not to be afraid, "we will do everything to get you back in the community," Mahroug testified.

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