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01 February, 2007

Hell Hath No Fury

As the richest man in Italy and leader of its conservative party, Silvio Berlusconi is still a very powerful man. Ironically, a public tongue lashing from his fed up wife did what even a criminal lawsuit couldn't do: make this man beg for forgiveness.

Sometimes love does mean having to say you're sorry, and in the case of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, it means doing it in a very public way.

In an act of venting pent-up exasperation, Berlusconi's wife, Veronica Lario, took him to task in a letter on the front page of a major daily newspaper for openly ogling and commenting on starlets, and demanded a public apology for the "damage to my dignity." Several hours later, she got one
Silvio is notorious for womanizing and making sexist remarks. His wife kept silent throughout their 27-year marriage, but when she learned of the inappropriate comments he made to two women -- he said "If I weren’t already married, I would marry you right now" to one and "With you I would go anywhere" to another -- she finally said basta (enough) and demanded a public apology via an anti-Silvio newspaper, no less.

This was unheard of in a society dripping with machismo, and exactly why Veronica's open letter was a giant leap for Italian women. In an environment that expects them to suffer the infidelity of their husbands in silence, her message was clear: husbands, it is not okay to make fools of your wives. Men, we women deserve your respect. If you won't give it, we will demand it. You go girl!

Hours after her letter was published, Veronica did get her public apology. Will this stop Silvio's womanizing? Probably not, but now that he knows his wife can embarrass him back whenever he embarrasses her by flaunting his indiscretions, I get the feeling he'll be more discreet from now on.

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posted at 11:54 PM by City Muse


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