Monday, March 9, 2009

The gigolo with the "Madoff" touch

I'm just a gigolo and everywhere I go,
People know the part I'm playin'.
Pay for every dance, sellin' each romance,
Ooohh what they're sayin'?
There will come a day, when youth will pass away,
What will they say about me?
When the end comes I know, there was just a gigolo's
Life goes on without me.

The 44-year-old wined and dined a string of rich wives and widows, including Germany's wealthiest woman Mrs Klatten, winning their confidence and then asking for money.

If they refused, he threatened to blackmail them with secretly filmed footage of their encounters in hotel rooms around Europe.

His lawyer told a court in Munich that the long list of charges against his client "are, at their core, true."

Before the hearing began, a spokesman for the Munich prosecutors office said that Sgarbi faced a prison sentence of several years but that he could expect some leniency if he were to plead guilty.

"If he makes a confession, if he spares his victims from having to appear here in public, he will get a corresponding reduction ... in his sentence," Anton Winkler said.

Sgarbi's most high profile victim was BMW heiress Mrs Klatten, a married mother of three who he seduced and swindled out of £6.2 million.

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