Page last updated at 13:26 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Rolling Stone names Silvio Berlusconi '2009 rock star'

Italian Rolling Stone December cover, image courtesy of Rolling Stone
Berlusconi was praised for a lifestyle "worthy of the greatest rock star"

Italy's PM Silvio Berlusconi has been named "rock star of the year" by his country's Rolling Stone magazine.

The music magazine pays tribute to the 73-year-old media mogul's "lifestyle worthy of the greatest rock star".

Its December issue's front cover carries an illustration of him smiling in front of the Italian tricolore.

The magazine's editor, Carlo Antonelli, said: "Rod Stewart, Brian Jones, Keith Richards in their prime were schoolboys compared to him."

Mr Berlusconi had been the unanimous winner in a poll of the magazine's editorial staff, said Mr Antonelli.

"This year the choice was unanimous, for his obvious merits due to a lifestyle for which the words 'rock and roll' fall short," said Mr Antonelli in a statement.

The plaudit caps a tumultuous year for Mr Berlusconi's personal life.

A wave of allegations followed claims he had attended model Noemi Letizia's 18th birthday, reportedly buying her a golden necklace studded with diamonds as a present.

Allegations of parties at his residences attended by escort girls centred on Patrizia D'Addario, who claimed she had slept with him. Mr Berlusconi denied paying for sex, saying it "takes away the thrill of the conquest".

In early May, his wife, Veronica Lario, announced she was divorcing him, saying she could not remain with a man "who consorts with minors". Mr Berlusconi responded by demanding an apology from her.

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