Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s wife Veronica Lario, filing for divorce with a request for damages, may have asked for payments higher than those sought by Princess Diana when she divorced Britain’s Prince Charles in 1996, a marital law expert said.
"I think it’s a record figure, not even Diana asked for so much," Italian divorce lawyer Annamaria Bernardini de Pace said in an interview. She was commenting on a report by daily Corriere della Sera that Lario is seeking monthly "maintenance" payments of 3.5 million euros ($5.3 million).
Lario, the prime minister’s second wife, announced her separation from Berlusconi in May after publicly chastising him for consorting with minors. Under Italian law, a couple must be legally separated for three years before they can divorce.
Berlusconi, whose personal fortune is valued at $6.5 billion according to Forbes magazine, in May denied having "spicy relations" with Noemi Letizia, an actress whose 18th birthday party he attended, Bloomberg reports.
Maria Cristina Morelli, lawyer for Lario, declined to confirm the report but the newspaper insisted that money had already changed hands between the estranged pair.
"Sources close to the head of government (Berlusconi) are also saying that 60 to 70 million euros have already been paid out to Veronica", it said.
Lario, 52, filed for divorce in May, upset over her notorious womaniser husband's reported dalliances with younger women.
The last straw came in April when 72-year-old Berlusconi attended the 18th birthday party of aspiring model Noemi Letizia, whose relationship with the prime minister has been the subject of months of intrigue.
Berlusconi met Veronica Lario in 1980 and the couple were married 10 years later. They have three children, Barbara, 24, Eleonora, 22, and Luigi 20, AFP informs.