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AC Milan owner Berlusconi dies at 86

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Former Italian prime minister and AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has died at the age of 86.

Italian news agency LaPresse reported Berlusconi’s death after he was taken to hospital on Friday for the second time in months to be treated for chronic leukaemia.

Berlusconi owned AC Milan between 1986 and 2017, seeing the club win three Champions Leagues, eight Serie A titles and a Coppa Italia.

He sold to a consortium led by Yonghong Li but returned to football with Monza just a year later. They were promoted to Serie A for the first time in 2021.

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Berlusconi was Italy’s longest-serving prime minister despite scandals over his sex-fuelled parties and allegations of corruption. He built Italy’s largest commercial TV network before entering politics in 1994.

His death brings an end to one of the most colourful and controversial political careers of recent times, famous for his notorious “bunga bunga” parties. The sex parties, which involved prostitutes, caused a major scandal in Italy.

Berlusconi was prime minister when he was formally convicted of paying Karima El Mahroug, known by the stage name Ruby Rubacuori (Italian for “Ruby the Heartstealer”), for sexual services between February and May 2010 when she was under the age of 18.He was later found not guilty on appeal

Berlusconi, well known for his brash and ebullient personality, led Italy three times from 1994-1995, 2001-2006 and 2008-2011.

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He stepped down as prime minister for the last time in 2011 as Italy came close to a Greece-style debt crisis, facing several scandals.

A decade ago he was banned from holding public office over a tax fraud conviction stemming from dealings in his media empire, but the ban was lifted in 2018.

He returned to the Italian Senate after a national election last September.

Last year he triggered uproar with comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin when he boasted the two had exchanged birthday greetings and blamed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the war.

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