February 16th, 2011

EXCLUSIVE: Italian politician Nicole Minetti on the Berlusconi scandal

Italian politician Nicole Minetti tells CNN’s Dan Rivers about the woman at the center of the Berlusconi scandal in an exclusive interview.

FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW:

**Any use of this material must credit CNN

Dan Rivers: Did you introduce Ruby, this young Moroccan girl, to the Prime Minister?

Nicole Minetti : No, absolutely not. No.

Dan Rivers: At what point did you know that Ruby was a minor, was under 18?

Nicole Minetti:  The night that I went to Questura (police station) the 27th of May. Yes. She had told us that she was 24 years old and that wasn’t hard to believe because she seems much older than what she is actually, yes.

Dan Rivers: Did you think the Prime Minister knew that she was a minor?

Nicole Minetti: Absolutely not. He did not know her real age, no.

Dan Rivers: Describe to me what happened that night. How did the Prime Minister appear on the phone after Ruby had been arrested.

Nicole Minetti: I remember that there was this Brazilian girl which told me that Ruby was… had been stopped because she didn’t have any documents with her, any ID. And then it came out that she was under 18.So we stopped in Questura until two o’clock in the morning because obviously she didn’t have any ID and the police were trying to find the ID.

Dan Rivers: Did the prime minister call you during this process?

Nicole Minetti: Yes, yes we… yes, a couple of times. I think I called him as well to let him know how the things were going and obviously he was quite worried as well, because I mean we were young girls in Questura, so I called him to let him know that everything was okay, that we were okay, that the girl was okay and how things were going during the night.

Nicole Minetti: This was not how the evenings used to finish, I mean in any way, absolutely not. There’s a music room– lets call it, in which there can be some soft music rather than more modern music, but I would not absolutely describe it as a night club in any way.

Nicole Minetti: He’s a really great man. He’s generous. He’s good. Good in the heart. The great thing about him is that he believes a lot in young people. He is not afraid of believing and investing in young people.

Dan Rivers: Some of the evidence suggests that you were topless at some of these parties that you were dressed up in some sort of uniform – is that true?  Have you ever been topless in the presence of the Prime Minister?

Nicole Minetti: No I haven’t (Laughs)

Dan Rivers: And you’re laughing?

Nicole Minetti: I’m laughing because it’s seems, it’s, it’s very much I mean laughable, that’s all I can say.

Dan Rivers: So you completely deny that you procured any women for the Prime Minister for prostitution?

Nicole Minetti: Yes I deny that, absolutely, yes.

Nicole Minetti: He’s a really great man. He’s generous. He’s good ; good in the heart. The great thing about him is that he believes a lot in young people. He is not afraid of believing and investing in young people.

Dan Rivers: So you would deny ever having received any money from Silvio Berlusconi.

Nicole Minetti: Well, he helped me in some situations. I mean he is a… he doesn’t have any problems helping people, even in an economic way.

Dan Rivers: How much money did he give you?

Nicole Minetti: That’s a detail which I wouldn’t go into.

Dan Rivers: But thousands of euros?

Nicole Minetti: It doesn’t matter. That’s not the, that’s not the matter.

Dan Rivers: Well, some people say it does matter, because it would suggest that he was either paying for your services or paying to keep you quiet.

Nicole Minetti: Or he was helping me, just because he cared for me. It could be one thing or the other.

Dan Rivers: How would you describe your relationship with the prime minister?

Nicole Minetti: I had an affectionate relationship, meaning as someone that you care for and cares for you.

Dan Rivers: But not an improper relationship or sexual relationship

Nicole Minetti: I wouldn’t go in those details. Those are private details

Ends/