|Born||Miriam Raffaella Bartolini
19 July 1956
|Known for||Ex-wife of Silvio Berlusconi|
|Spouse(s)||Silvio Berlusconi (1990–2010)|
Veronica Lario (born on 19 July 1956 as Miriam Raffaella Bartolini) is a former Italian actress and the wife of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, although she has filed for legal separation, which is the first step towards divorce in Italian law.
Born in Bologna, Lario was an actress in low-budget films. She also worked in theatrical plays with well-known actors; she retired from acting after meeting Silvio Berlusconi.
Married on 15 December 1990, Berlusconi and Lario have three children together: Barbara Berlusconi (1984), Eleonora (1986), and Luigi (1988). In the 80s, before the birth of the first-born daughter Barbara, Lario terminated an earlier pregnancy with an induced abortion, in order not to give birth to a child affected by significant morbidity.
As the wife of the Italian premier, Veronica Lario has chosen to maintain a low public profile. She has avoided most public events and meetings and she seldom accompanies her husband Silvio Berlusconi at official meetings. On the other hand, she has been known to have publicly expressed political opinions contrasting with those of her husband (for example, on bioethics or in backing for protesters demonstrating against the war in Iraq).
On 31 January 2007, Lario said her dignity had been damaged by comments Berlusconi reportedly made during the VIP party after a TV awards ceremony broadcast by one of his channels.
"If I weren't married I would marry you immediately", the 70-year-old media mogul told showgirl and future parliamentarian Mara Carfagna, according to reports widely carried in the Italian press. He reportedly told another, "With you, I'd go anywhere".
Lario's letter appeared in La Repubblica, a nationally prominent newspaper. She declared:
I see these statements as damaging my dignity. To both my husband and the public man, I therefore demand a public apology, since I haven't received any privately. I have faced the inevitable contrasts and the more painful moments that a long conjugal relation entails with respect and discretion.
"Now I write to state my reaction," added Lario, saying her husband's comments were "unacceptable" and could not be reduced to mere jokes.
But after few hours, Silvio Berlusconi wrote back a public letter to his wife and apologized for what he had said three days before.
In April 2009 she once more published an open letter, criticising her husband for consorting with young ladies and defining his chosen candidates for the European Parliament as "shameless rubbish".
On 3 May 2009 it was reported that she is to file for divorce, which under Italian law can only be started after a couple has reached a separation agreement. On 10 May 2010 it was revealed that a separation settlement had been reached, with Berlusconi accepting alimony payments of €3,6 million per year, and allowing her to live in their luxury home near Milan.
- "Berlusconi's wife to divorce him". BBC News. 3 May 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- At this time Silvio Berlusconi was still married to Carla Elvira Lucia Dall'Oglio, from whom he was divorced in 1985.
- http://www.corriere.it/Primo_Piano/Politica/2005/04_Aprile/08/veronica.shtml. corriere.it.
- "BBC NEWS | Europe | Berlusconi's wife to divorce him". BBC News. 3 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
- While the supposed affair was only mentioned in gossip tabloids, on October 2002, during a press conference with Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Silvio Berlusconi said he ought to introduce his wife to Rasmussen, "the best-looking prime minister in Europe and certainly more handsome than Cacciari". See also the Guardian on this episode.
- Donadio, Rachel (30 April 2009). "Premier's Roving Eye Enrages Wife, but Not His Public". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "Berlusconi's wife wants to end marriage, reports say - CNN.com". CNN. 3 May 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- Verenz, Paul (10 May 2010). "Berlusconi's wife to accept €3.5m a year in divorce". Irish Independent.
- Veronica €100,000 per day – Berlusconi keeps the heritage (in Italian). corriere.it.