Italy's former Prime Minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi
is engaged to Francesca Pascale, a woman nearly 50 years his junior.
Despite the striking age difference, Berlusconi raves about his fiancee, who some news outlets
report is 27 years of age, and others
report is 28.
"I am engaged to a Neapolitan, it's official," Berlusconi says. "She is 27 years old, with very solid values, beautiful on the outside and even more beautiful on the inside."
Despite the fact Berlusconi has yet to finalize a settlement with his second wife, Veronica Lario, the billionaire is moving full steam ahead with Pascale and says his daughter is in approval.
"She is very close to me, she loves me very much and I feel the same. My daughter Marina appreciates her and loves her very much too."
The engagement comes after Berlusconi's announcement that he will be running for Prime Minister in 2013, leading the Italian press to dub Pascale
as the "new first lady."
Berlusconi is no stranger to scandal. Allegations flew that Berlusconi paid underage dancer Karima El-Mahroug
, aka "Ruby the Heart-Stealer" for sex. Both Berlusconi and El-Mahroug have denied the accusations.
In 2009 wiretaps revealed
Berlusconi's raging libido during a conversation with entrepreneur Gianpaolo Tarantini.
"Last night I had a queue outside the door of the bedroom… There were 11 … I only did eight because I could not do it anymore," said Berlusconi.
The stunning Pascale is her betrothed's biggest fan. A founding member of a group called "Silvio, we miss you," Pascale worked for Berlusconi's centre-Right PDL party before resigning last July.
One thing that does bother the beauty? Other women. Business Insider
reports Pascale seethes with jealousy over former model and equal opportunities minister Mara Carfagna.
And the age difference? No big deal for the May-December couple. Although Berlusconi admits
the gap is "a little excessive," he speaks of Pascale with great affection.
"She brings continuous joy. She's very close to me, she loves me very much and I love her back."