It was domestic drama at its best, the kind Italians love: a scorned wife airing her dirty laundry for the world to see.
In this case it was Veronica Lario, the usually private wife of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who chose to make her anger over his flirtations public in an open letter in a daily newspaper.
By day?s end, the 70-year-old billionaire, Italy?s richest man, was figuratively on his knees.
“Dear Veronica, here?s my apology,” Berlusconi said in his letter, made public by the conservative leader?s Forza Italia party. “Forgive me, I beg you. And take this public show of my private pride giving in to your fury as an act of love. One of many.”
Lario, 50, had voiced her complaints Wednesday in La Repubblica, saying her dignity had been offended by her husband?s behaviour. Adding insult to injury, Lario chose a left-leaning newspaper that is a fierce Berlusconi critic.
She was reacting to comments that Berlusconi reportedly made last week during a VIP party after a TV awards show broadcast by one of the media baron?s Mediaset channels.
“If I weren?t married, I would marry you immediately,” Berlusconi told one woman, according to reports widely carried in the Italian media. “With you, I?d go anywhere,” he reportedly told another.