THREE years after Silvio Berlusconi's wife walked out on him over his alleged frolicking with teenage girls, the former Italian prime minister has reportedly been ordered to pay her €3 million ($3.8 million) a month in a divorce settlement.
Mr Berlusconi had offered just €300,000 a month to the former actress Veronica Lario, 56, whom he married in 1990 after divorcing his first wife.
Ms Lario had demanded €43 million a year and was awarded €36 million, but the judge's ruling is heavily in her favour.
Paid out ... Silvio Berlusconi's ex-wife Veronica Lario. Photo: AP
Ms Lario denounced her husband in 2009, saying, ''I cannot stay with a man who frequents minors'', after he was pictured attending the birthday party of the aspiring TV showgirl Noemi Letizia, then 18.
Ms Lario, who has had three children with Mr Berlusconi, also described his attempt to send female TV starlets to the European Parliament as ''shameless rubbish'' and entertainment fit for ''an emperor''.
She accused him of being a sex addict who ''is sick and needs help''. In 2007 she wrote a letter saying her ''dignity as a woman'' had been hurt after Mr Berlusconi publicly joked to Mara Carfagna, a showgirl who later became an MP, that he would run off with her if he were not married.
Berlusconi's fiancee ... Francesca Pascale. Photo: Franco Castano'
Ms Lario received a public apology but when re-elected Mr Berlusconi appointed Ms Carfagna the minister for equal opportunities.
The size of the settlement provoked a strong reaction in a country where austerity reforms and a continuing recession have made it harder to make ends meet.
''It is an amount that for us common mortals seems like a joke,'' society journalist Laura Laurenzi said. ''Even €1000 a day is a joke in these times of crisis, not to mention 100 times that.''
Italy's civil code says the standard of living shared by the couple before separating must be maintained when there is economic disparity between them. Mr Berlusconi ranks 169 on the Forbes list of billionaires, with a reported net worth of more than €4 billion.
Ms Lario was particularly keen to have Villa Belvedere, the estate near Milan where the couple raised their children during their 22-year marriage, but the judge ruled it would remain Mr Berlusconi's as the children were no longer minors.
Since their separation, Mr Berlusconi has been engulfed by allegations of sex with prostitutes and his so-called bunga bunga parties in Milan. Female guests at the parties have revealed in court that Mr Berlusconi still sends them regular cheques for thousands of euros.
Mr Berlusconi recently announced he was in a relationship with Francesca Pascale, a former TV showgirl who is 27, almost 50 years his junior.
Guardian News & Media; Telegraph, London