Nov. 12 - Berlusconi's particular sense of humor delighted and offended the world over, often overshadowing his political ambitions. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi may have sought to portray himself as a grand statesman but as he steps down from office he also leaves a legacy of gaffes. Early this year when he presented an award to two business women he joked about what he may well become famous for; the phrase 'bunga, bunga' -- a phrase often used by the media to suggest wild parties. SOUNDBITE: Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi saying (Italian): "You are so good I am almost forced to invite you for some bunga, bunga. Yes you are pretty enough, you could come." When the billionaire premier faced calls to resign he joked about where he would go. SOUNDBITE: Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi saying (Italian): "And they keep saying 'Berlusconi go home', which puts me in some embarrassment because I wouldn't know which one I should go to, since I own 20." While his personal charisma may have won him his supporters adoration, a string of sex scandals and corruption accusations took their toll. In the fall of 2010 Berlusconi denied accounts that he used his position to ask for the release of a 17-year old night-club dancer named Ruby held for theft who had told police that she had attended parties at his villa. His attempts to dodge the issue did little to improve the situation. SOUNDBITE: Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi saying (Italian): "I have always worked with no interruption and if I sometimes see a beautiful girl, I say, better to like girls than to be gay Berlusconi didn't leave his love for jokes at home. The prime minister caused an international stir when he described newly-elected U.S. President Barack Obama as "young, handsome and sun-tanned". He did not let it go SOUNDBITE: Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi saying (Italian): "I have to bring you some greetings, greetings from a man, what is his name, what is his name - just a minute, it was someone with a tan - Barack Obama," He was known for for his close ties to Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, and joked with the leader of China The man named Italian Rolling Stone magazine's 2009 'Rockstar of the Year', won a landslide election in 2008 and bounced back from various scandals during his career in politics. Now a new chapter begins Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters