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Berlusconi divorces second wife

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By SAPA

Rome -

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has got a divorce from his second wife Veronica Lario and will have to pay 36 million euros a year in alimony, it was reported Friday.

The Corriere della Sera newspaper reported the ruling by a court in Milan, which came days after Berlusconi, 76, announced that his new girlfriend was 49 years younger than him.

Lario, 56, had accused him of consorting with underage women and announced in 2009 she was seeking a divorce, after a newspaper published a report that he had attended the 18th birthday party of a sometime lingerie model who reportedly called him “daddy”.

A former actress, Lario had three children with Berlusconi between 1984 and 1988 and married him in 1990, but had grown apart from her husband over the past 10 years, almost never appearing with him in public. They officially split in 2009.

Berlusconi has two more children from his first wife, Carla Elvira Dell'Oglio. They are involved in the running of his Mediaset media empire.

The new girlfriend, Francesca Pascale, served as a local councillor in Naples for Berlusconi's People of Freedom party.

“She is a beautiful girl, on the outside but even more on the inside,” Berlusconi told a Mediaset TV channel earlier in December.

The three-time prime minister is running again for office in elections due on February 24-25, but his party is trailing in the polls. A centre-left alliance, outgoing premier Mario Monti and a protest party are the other leading contenders. - Sapa-dpa

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