Clooney to testify at sex trial?
Hollywood star George Clooney and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo will be called to testify in a sex trial involving former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Both men are to be witnesses for the defence, with Mr Ronaldo's testimony being used to claim that one of the women making allegations against Mr Berlusconi is a fantasist.
Mr Clooney is expected to testify that nothing untoward occurred at a party hosted by Mr Berlusconi that he attended.
More than 200 people will give evidence in the trial of three people said to have recruited prostitutes for Mr Berlusconi, who stepped down as premier last weekend.
Prosecutors say politician Nicole Minetti, showbusiness agent Lele Mora and Mr Berlusconi's close friend, news anchor Emilio Fede hired the women who were paid to attend the infamous "bunga bunga" parties.
The trial is due to begin in Milan next week but Mr Ronaldo, a former Manchester United star who is now with Real Madrid, and Mr Clooney are not due to appear until next year.
Miss Minetti, 25, is said to have hired the women through her television connections.
She was allegedly rewarded with a job as a regional councillor in Milan with Mr Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, despite having no experience in politics.
She is said to have performed a provocative striptease for Mr Berlusconi, 75, at the parties which he hosted at his villa in Arcore - dubbed Hardcore by the Italian media - near Milan.
In all more than 30 women were allegedly guests at the parties and were all said to have been paid with cash, jewellery and cars.
Fede, 80 and Mora, 55, were also said to have recruited women - among then Moroccan-born belly dancer Karima El Mahroug, known by her stage name Ruby the Heartstealer, when she was only 17.
Mr Ronaldo has been called by the defence because Miss El Mahroug claimed that she had a one night stand with him and then threw a glass of champagne over him at a Milan nightclub.
He denies the allegation, but will be used to claim that she is a fantasist.
Earlier this year when Miss El Mahroug made her claims, Mr Ronaldo's lawyers Schillings issued a statement in which they said her allegations were ''wholly untrue'' adding that they were ''demonstrably false."
Paolo Righi, Minetti's lawyer, said: ''We have asked for Ronaldo to be called as a witness because we believe that a young lady who says she met him did not meet him at all.''
Mr Clooney - who has admitted to being a guest at a party hosted by Mr Berlusconi - is expected to confirm that nothing untoward happened at the events.
In an interview earlier this year the Ocean's 11 star described the evening he had with the premier as ''one of the most astonishing'' of his life.
Among others expected to testify at the trial are two women who said they were left ''shocked and embarrassed'' after attending the parties and had even asked to leave early as they felt so uncomfortable.
Miss El Mahroug and Berlusconi, as well as Miss Minetti, Fede and Mora all deny any wrongdoing.