Until now, Silvio Berlusconi has sounded pretty laid-back about this whole sex scandal thing. He dismissively declared "I am not a saint" in response to recorded conversations between him and a prostitute. But now it seems the bad press is taking its toll: the Italian prime minister is leaving on a three-week holiday complete with hydrotherapy and a diet and exercise regimen designed to relieve stress and "restore the 'natural harmony' of the body."
Perhaps it's Berlusconi's daughter who deserves a break. In the latest issue of Italian Vanity Fair, 25-year-old Barbara Berlusconi says she is "astounded" by the news that her father was cavorting with an 18-year-old model. But wait! There's more.
As for her dad's argument that a politician's personal life should stay private, Barbara isn't buying it.
"Our politicians are called upon to govern well, to help society prosper, and also to safeguard the values that society expresses and possibly to elevate them," she said. "Therefore, I don't think a politician can allow himself to distinguish between his private and public life."
Meanwhile, Patrizia D'Addario, the prostitute said to be featured on the recordings, recently told a French newspaper that she was offered a seat in the European Parliament as payment. If that's the case, it doesn't sound like Berlusconi is keeping his private life as separate he claims.
Now that I know the PM has a 25-year-old daughter, the scandal seems sadder. What would you do if he were your dad?