Mirek Topolanek, the eccentric former Czech prime minister, is no stranger to problems with photographers. Last year he punched a Czech cameraman who took a picture of his sleeping baby. But this weekend he has found himself in an almost impossible struggle to protect his dignity, after being shown naked and in a state of arousal next to Silvio Berlusconi's swimming pool. The Italian prime minister had gained an injunction to prevent up to photographs of private parties at his Sardinian villa appearing in the Italian media. After denying that any embarrassing photographs could exist of his visit last year to Sardinia, Topolanek admitted that he was the naked man standing beside an unidentified woman on a sun-lounger. The Czech media had recognised his white rubber wristband - a sign of support for the anti-Castro movement in Cuba - given to Topolanek by George W Bush during a visit to the United States last year. The picture is not authentic. This is absolutely insolent interference in my privacy. Besides, there is nothing wrong or compromising. It was a private holiday in closed premises, not outside on a beach.
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The five photos show two scantily-clad young women relaxing in the villa's landscaped garden, as well as Mr Berlusconi walking in the garden beside another young woman, who is clothed. Aside from the Italian prime minister, all have their faces obscured by pixels and none is identified. The photographs will intensify a frenzied debate in Italy on the nature of Mr Berlusconi's relationship with a string of attractive young women, some of whom he has propelled into politics. Mr Berlusconi had successfully suppressed the images in his own country, with his lawyers persuading prosecutors to seize the photos and place the photographer who took them under investigation for alleged violation of privacy. But Antonello Zappadu, the photographer, had already sold the rights to the photos outside Italy, possibly explaining their publication by El Pais under the headline "The photos vetoed by Berlusconi. An angry Mr Berlusconi condemned publication of the pictures, taken with a long lens near his Sardinian retreat as a gross intrusion into his privacy. Asked about why there were naked women at his home, Berlusconi continued: "Do you take a shower dressed? These girls were bathing in a whirlpool bath inside a private home, and they were assaulted in a scandalous way.
Berlusconi fury over naked photos Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has reacted angrily to the publication in Spain of photographs showing topless women and a naked man at his villa. He also faces a probe for using state aircraft to fly guests to Sardinia. The prime minister is said to have used Italian aircraft to ferry guests to and Villa Certosa, "almost every weekend" between the summer of and January of this year, El Pais reports. Mr Berlusconi is being investigated for misuse of public funds, and confirmed on Thursday that he had been formally placed under investigation by prosecutors. But said the probe would be "swiftly shelved", insisting he was allowed to transport "people he needs" for security reasons. Mystery man Under the headline "The pictures vetoed by Berlusconi", El Pais on Friday published five photos shot by photographer Antonello Zappadu from outside the gates of the Berlusconi villa. In the first, the face of the Italian prime minister — recently embroiled in a public row over his friendship with an year-old model — can be clearly seen. He is accompanied by several women, with the face of one of them pixelated by the photographer and the others obscured by an awning. The second photograph shows two topless women, one standing and one lying on a sun lounger in the Sardinian sunshine. The woman standing is wearing nothing except a skimpy set of "thong" bikini briefs.
This article is from the archive of our partner. We've marveled at Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's ability to remain in office despite his fondness for Holocaust jokes , underage Moroccan runaways named Ruby the Heart Stealer , and 'bunga bunga' parties at his villa outside Milan, which include everything you'd expect from a 'bunga bunga' party hosted by Silvio Berlusconi. How to explain the man's remarkable resiliency? We'd suggest that the year-old embattled prime minister--like countless other year-old embattled prime ministers before him--has benefited from the press heretofore refraining from publishing any photos of the aging prime minister "naked in the company of young women. That could be changing, now Italian tabloids are in a bidding war for new images of Berlusconi "naked in the company of young women. This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire. We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Skip to content. Sign in My Account Subscribe.