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Monica Lewinsky or Noemi Letizia? Flings and Politics in Italy

Judith Harris (May 19, 2009)
Many look at Letizia Noemi as an Italian version of Monica Lewinsky. But while Clinton's popularity fell dramatically after his extramarital affair, Berlusconi's has sagged by a mere 3% as a result of his divorce. Thus, although Catholic, Italians seem to be very tolerant... But is religion the only issue involved?

 Le Divorce—you know whose—is the only game in town, but what is it all about? Versions differ. Some sniff and say, “It is private business, and no one else’s.” Others, like a clergyman of some rank, brush it off with, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Some of the many admirers of Premier Berlusconi nod tolerantly, saying, “You know he’s exuberant, a live wire.” Berlusconi himself puts the fuss down to “envy” and those who would make political hay of his family affairs, which is to say of his extra-familiar affairs. But none of this suffices, and the ante is being raised.