Photographs of nude and semi-nude guests at Silvio Berlusconi‘s holiday home on the island of Sardinia were published Friday in a Spanish newspaper despite attempts by the Italian prime minister to have them banned.
The photos were blocked in Italy, but Berlusconi was powerless to prevent Spain’s El País from publishing the pictures from a weekend break he organized. The prime minister has threatened to sue the newspaper calling the photos an invasion of privacy.
“I am not frightened. These are innocent photos, there is no scandal, but there has been an aggressive intrusion into my private life,” he said on Italian public radio.
“The photos show people bathing in a jacuzzi inside a private property, something party guests were invited to do,” he added.
The images show scantily clad women lounging around the grounds of the private villa, while in one, a naked man stands by a swimming pool. The pictures were taken by Antonello Zappadu from outside the villa during a party for a Czech delegation.
All of the faces of the guests in the photos, except for a fully clothed Berlusconi, are pixilated, concealing their identities. El Pais said that Zappadu, not the newspaper, did the pixilation.
The Italian photographer told the Spanish daily that “virtually every weekend” Italian air force flights brought Berlusconi’s friends, dancers and television personalities to his weekend retreat.
Berlusconi, who is being investigated for misuse of public funds, has denied any wrongdoing in the use of official Italian aircraft.