Nov. 12 - A look back at Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's political career, rife with controversy and personal storms. Katharine Jackson reports.
Berlusconi burst onto the political stage with a -- flag victory in nineteen. Forward new to politics -- stoning was already powerful. The billionaire soccer's supermarket and media tycoon controlled 90% of Italy's mainstream television. His grip on political power with tenuous at first his first term as prime minister ended after less than one year in office. -- barely -- would become a political survivor despite weeks of personal scandals and controversial comment. -- -- -- won his second term in 2001 but the biggest majority in the history of the Italian Republic. As European Union president in 2003. It was Tony's comments likening German lawmaker to a Nazi death camp commander. And shockwaves. Felt a neat guy yet I know the -- and Italy are meant producing -- film of the Nazi concentration camp. I would like just -- -- the role of the camp later he went perfect couple. Berlusconi had eight -- surgery in 2003. Saying that youthful appearance makes him a better ambassador for Italy. He led the country in mourning the death of Pope John Paul the second in 2005. And inaugurating Pope Benedict the sixteenth. But -- popularity waning and lost the general election in 2006. He fainted at a rally that November was found to have a heart condition and underwent successful surgery. Fairly Tony's personal life went public when his second wife began writing to newspapers in 2007. Requesting an apology for his flirtations with starlets. She later demanded a divorce and accused him of an inappropriate relationship with -- seventeen year old aspiring model. Revelations also surfaced that prostitutes had attended parties at his homes. Still the perennial prime minister bounced back in 2000. Winning a third term but failing to quiet controversy fairly -- -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel waiting at a NATO summit. While he took a cell phone calling 2000 Aaron. Days later he said he can't for survivors in the earthquake devastated town of -- was like a weekend of camping. And that's September. He referred to US president Barack Obama and hand that he -- utility earnings. What is its name and it works. And also in 2009 an Italian court decided the constitution. Did not grant -- -- immunity from prosecution while in office. Paving the way for corruption trials nearly stony faced more than 400 investigations in a decade. Standing trial in eight cases but eventually being cleared in all of. Ye shall know the name -- who don't. An absolute terms and the most legally persecuted memorable time -- the whole history of mankind and world La. Republicans objected to more than twenty -- hundred courtship which until -- games. A man with a history of mental illness attacked -- from 2009. Fracturing his nose and sending blood streaming down state. But political attacks were more common. Tension between his top coalition partner erupting in a public shouting match in 20102. Months later fairly -- survived a confidence there. Then more scandal reports the Berlusconi had called Milan police acting netted eighteen year old Moroccan runaway be released from detention. Newspapers seized on the name burger -- and a allegedly SX gained a tube clean. At least Sony shrugged off the scandal that stoke the fire with his explanation. The. Team they Il who do cool and those were the disruption it'll that the double it up if you'd like that sometimes see your beautiful girl. -- what they've touched on a bit out of gas I say better to like beautiful girls than to be okay negate. But with Europe's debt crisis spreading it was clearly don't -- failure to implement reforms to contain -- mounting debt. It proved his downfall is 75 year old has resigned once again. What could be the end of the parent or another -- in a roller coaster ride back to our. Katherine Jackson Reuters.