Silvio Berlusconi, The Billionaire Who Is Famous For All The Wrong Reasons

Published on March 21 2014

Silvio Berlusconi Net Worth : $9 Billion

Silvio Berlusconi is the 77 year old former Italian Prime Minister. He currently has a net worth of $9 billion and is the 6th wealthiest individual in Italy. Apart from being a politician, Silvio is also a media mogul owning significant stakes in Mediaset S.p.A. (Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster), Mediolanum S.p.A. (a financial services company), Mondadori (a publishing company) and A.C. Milan football club. He is also the third-longest serving Italian prime minister having served three separate terms.

Berlusconi was born into a middle-class Milan family and is a lawyer by profession. He began his upward progression by establishing a construction company (Edilnord) that constructed the Milano Due apartments. He then used the proceeds from this venture to start his television company, Telemilano that mainly entertained residents of his Segrate properties. Through the acquisition of smaller broadcasters Telemilano grew into Mediaset, an outfit that owns the three leading private media houses in Italy.

Apart from the publicity he warrants by being a public figure, Berlusconi has managed to create media frenzies around himself for less than savory reasons: he has been in and out of court more than 2000 times for the mentioning of over 100 cases in a 20 year period! In fact, he has faced all sorts of charges ranging from embezzlement to money laundering to mafia collusion and bribery of law enforcement officers. 

Fortunately for him, he can afford to have an arsenal of lawyers at his beck and call. However, they cannot always save him and consequently in 2013 he was convicted of tax fraud for which he was sentenced to a four year jail term. However, the first three years were pardoned under a general amnesty but he may serve the remaining one year under house arrest because his age does not allow him to be jailed. It may seem like he got off easy but that conviction cost him his Senate seat.

Moreover, in the same year Berlusconi was also convicted of paying for sex with a minor and abuse of power. This case revolved around Karima El Mahroug who was 17 years old at the time of the incident and whom Berlusconi tried to have released from police custody where she was being held on theft charges by claiming that she was a relative to Hosni Mubarak. For this conviction he was sentenced to a seven year jail term and banned from holding any public office for the rest of his life. He has appealed this conviction.

Berlusconi has been married more than once. His first wife was Carla Elvira Dall'Oglio with whom he had his first two children: Maria Elvira and Pier Silvio. Twenty years later he divorced Carla and later married Veronica Lario, an actress. They had three children: Barbara, Eleonora and Luigi. However, after Berlusconi was spotted at a young aspiring model’s birthday party, Veronica filed for divorce accusing him of ‘consorting with minors’. Consequently, Berlusconi is now paying her a hefty alimony of $1.9 million per month.

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