Ruby ter, Karima’s story: “Grateful to Berlusconi, sincere affection from him”

The book of the protagonist of the evenings in Arcore: “I am no longer a child on the run for life”

“I decided to tell my life, the woman I have become, the reason for my choices and how I was invested by a story that overwhelmed and overwhelmed me, to finally be heard, to really be seen”. Start like this the book by Karima El Mahroug, aka Ruby, acquitted by the judges of the court of Milan from the charge of perjury and corruption in judicial documents in the Ruby ter trial. The biography ‘Karima’ written by Raffaella Cosentino will be presented tomorrow but Adnkronos has already been able to read extensive excerpts.

In 140 pages there is the whole life of the young woman of Moroccan origin. “I have been an image girl, a cubist, a baker and a street vendor – starting from my 9 years – a lifeguard – without knowing how to swim, a beautician – without having any qualifications – I frequented the house of President Berlusconi, I slept many nights on a bench, I ran away from 18 communities. I walked perilously on the edge of a ravine, I could have fallen and I didn’t fall. I could have been a prostitute, but I didn’t. Today I am no longer a child in escape for life, I’m thirty” he says. From the difficult childhood to the solitary arrival in Milan, up to the early evening in Arcore on February 14, 2010 and the meeting with the then premier Silvio Berlusconi. “‘Good evening, miss, how beautiful you are. Tonight you will be my guest’. I resolved with a smile, I didn’t know what to say, I still didn’t know anything about the evening and above all I had no idea who it could be. I didn’t read the papers, I didn’t I was interested in politics”.

“We entered a room with beautiful girls, super well-groomed with perfect hair. I had slightly wild hair, black trousers, a tank top. I felt uncomfortable and a little out of place” she continues. “The president offered me the seat next to him and the eyes on the other girls embarrassed me a bit. Dinner began and I was asked to introduce myself: I had the answer already tested: ‘My name is Ruby Hayek, I’m half Egyptian and half Brazilian, I’m twenty-four. My mother is a famous singer in Egypt.’ A dinner interspersed with jokes, songs sung by the landlord, lots of shouting. I kept feeling out of place”.

The story of the first meeting is detailed. “When it was time for dessert, I turned to the president: ‘Excuse me, can I talk to you for a moment?’ dancing in the disco and we usually change there: I don’t feel elegantly dressed. I don’t know what to talk about, I feel a little uncomfortable and then it’s Valentine’s Day and I would like to surprise my boyfriend.” (… ) ‘Okay, go ahead, we’ll see you next time’. He asked me for my phone number, called me a taxi and gave me an envelope. The first evening in Arcore ended like this. In the car, I opened the envelope with four five-hundred-euro tickets I was over the moon, I could send money to my mother and be calm”.

From that moment Ruby began to attend dinners at Berlusconi’s house with “a certain regularity, enough to radically change my standard of living; I was able to send money to my mother, support myself and take care of myself. The evenings in Arcore were all almost the same, dinner always with the same tricolor-based menu, after dinner in the room below the dining room, now known to all as ‘bunga bunga'”.

During the dinners “the atmosphere was falsely cheerful, with an aftertaste of sadness. They all laughed a lot, exaggeratedly. The girls competed to be the most beautiful, the sexiest, in a competition of their own from which I was excluded; they were the first to consider me ‘different’, a gypsy, they said. The guests at the table were not always the same. Some left immediately after dinner, others stopped. There were performances, sexy ballets, dress-ups, stripteases. I have performed belly dancing more than once, wearing a suit given to the president by Gaddafi. Dancing in such a precious dress made me proud, it made me feel important. Special”.

“Sometimes I stayed overnight. It was very pleasant to stay, because, in the morning, breakfast time was the most interesting. The president recounted his life, he discussed subjects that were very distant from me, I was fascinated by him. He was a his world is so important and it seemed incredible to me that I could somehow, even remotely, be part of it. I felt treated with dignity, I would say like a worthy interlocutor. The stories of the beginnings of his profession were the most interesting because they opened windows for reflection in me, they gave me a sense of possibility. I have always been treated very politely and, I believe, with sincere affectionRuby says.

“What I couldn’t stand was the climate of greed that was breathed and I didn’t know how to explain – and it remains a mystery to me even now – how did he trust all those people or only want them around. I fully understand that this observation can, in hindsight, also apply to me, but I have always felt different. I’ve never seen my attending dinners as a job. I found it an immense privilege. He helped me, without asking for anything in return and without me feeling compelled to reciprocate in any way. If not with the gratitude that I continue to feel even today”.

The biography does not leave out the meeting with the prosecutors of Milan Antonio Sangermano and Pietro Forno, the first to collect the details of the evenings at Villa San Martino. “In the beginning it seemed to me that they were interested in my story and I believed that the objective of the meetings was my fostering. Then they began to ask me about evenings in Arcore. The conversations and questions had become unpleasant, pressing; I began my bizarre stories when I I realized that I wasn’t the center of their interests; out of a sense of defiance and even a little boredom. My stories were absurd and I didn’t think they believed all the things I blatantly invented. Above all, I didn’t know the possible consequences of that I told. I spoke, freewheeling. I invented. A lot. I colored, each time with ever more precise details. With names, surnames, situations: the most imaginative. I told of a night with Ronaldo and I think I also said that Brad Pitt wanted to adopt me”.

The statements made by the prosecution lead straight to October 10, 2010 when “my face was everywhere on all the newspapers at the newsstands – says the young Moroccan -. The scandal, the Ruby Gate, had begun in the media. An earthquake in my life. They were inexplicable months, in which I was totally overwhelmed, by the events, by the looks of the people, by the onslaught of journalists, by the judicial proceedings. I was officially the injured party, but in fact a judgment had already been passed on me: a minor prostitute. He debated, for a long time, whether or not my real age was known. Prostitution was taken for granted, a fact. After all, what else could I have done: someone like this, that she dances like this, that she lives like this, that she frequents those places there. In fact, in the end the court decided this: the president did not know the real age… of the underage prostitute. Amen”.

After the outbreak of the scandal “which shook the palaces, my life was pretty shattered too; analyzing and looking at myself from so far, I see myself at the mercy of events, of my unawareness, of a fake love. I reproach myself for having entrusted myself to the wrong people (…) “. Everyone wanted to see the president’s hooker, no one who saw a 17-year-old girl, chased, used, photographed, hunted down at all times“. In that trial in which she is the injured party, the young woman feels “deeply accused, indeed already judged”. A teenager in a woman’s body, “not listened to, nor ever believed”.

Today, after 13 years, Karima looks at that “girl with the armor of an adult”, at the mercy of herself with new eyes: “Although the sentence is intended for me, it only speaks of Ruby, of a character, of an invention. (…) I decided to tell my story, well aware of the risk of being accused of wanting to exploit my life. I waited for the times of justice, I received the insults, I didn’t go looking for popularity. Now, however, I would simply like to say who I am. I do it like this, with a book. I am aware of lighting a light on a story that one would like to forget. I leave Ruby to her fate that one day, I hope, she will be able to place and tell the story better. I, Karima, convicted or acquitted in a courtroom or in the eye of the beholder, gather my life and go beyond”. A biography that she knows of” balm for my soul. Because being robbed of one’s adolescence, life, truth causes one to lose one’s identity. You don’t really know who you are anymore. Now I feel tuned to the right frequency”, concludes Karima El Mahroug.