Local January 22, 2011 | 1:02 pm

Dominican model linked to Berlusconi says they’re only friends

Santo Domingo.– Maria Esther Garcia Polanco, the Dominican model romantically linked to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, pointed out their relationship is only as friends but declined to answer a direct question about an allegedly affair.

Interviewed by the radio program "Government of the Morning," transmitted on Z101, Garcia, 25, –born in Nagua– defined herself as a professional model who also moves in the television field. She’s been living in Italy for nearly 15 years and is the mother of a five-year-old girl.

However, in an interview in La Repubblica newspaper, she was asked whether she had ever had sexual relations with Berlusconi and replied: "Yes, but never in exchange for money." She said he was "generous and kind."

Garcia admitted to have attended "five or six" parties at Berlusconi’s estate at Arcore, outside Milan, but denied that the soirees degenerated into "orgies."

Asked to confirm reports that Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, was at the villa one weekend in April when Berlusconi allegedly hosted one of his now notorious "bunga bunga" parties, she said: "I don’t know, I don’t follow politics."

Garcia Polanco was among a group of women who were allegedly installed in rent-free accommodation by Berlusconi in an apartment complex on the outskirts of Milan. They were served with eviction notices this week after neighbours complained that their involvement in the prostitution probe had given the area a bad reputation.

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