George Clooney, who owns a house on Lake Como in Italy, may give evidence at the trial of Silvio Berlusconi.
George Clooney has responded to suggestions that he could be called as a witness in the trial of Silvio Berlusconi, saying it is “odd” because he only met the Italian prime minister once.
By Nick Allen, Los Angeles
Mr Berlusconi is accused of paying teenage erotic dancer Karima El Mahroug, nicknamed “Ruby the Heart Stealer”, for sex when she was 17, after a party.
He denies the allegation.
The dancer told investigators that Mr Clooney and his girlfriend, Elisabetta Canalis, were at one of Mr Berlusconi’s parties that she attended. Both she and the 74-year-old billionaire politician have insisted the parties were entirely innocent.
Mr Clooney issued a statement expressing puzzlement that he might be called as a witness.
“It seems odd since I’ve only met Berlusconi once and that was in an attempt to get aid into Darfur,” he said.
The actor, who has a home on the shores of Lake Como north of Milan, is a long-time campaigner for a resolution to conflict in Darfur.
According to a report last month in leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, prosecutors have already talked with Miss Canalis, and she denied that she and Mr Clooney attended any of Mr Berlusconi’s parties.
Mr Berlusconi’s defence team has also listed Franco Frattini, the Italian foreign minister, and other Cabinet officials amid the 78 people named as witnesses, along with showgirls and TV personalities said to have frequented his parties.
In the trial, which begins on April 6, prosecutors accuse Mr Berlusconi of having sex with a “significant number” of prostitutes. They claim the women took part in “bunga bunga” orgies involving “masks, stripteases and erotic dances” at Mr Berlusconi’s villa.
Mr Berlusconi denies ever paying for sex and says his parties were normal, “convivial” dinners.