Italy's Berlusconi hails Deneuve's 'blessed words' on harassment

Catherine Deneuve has denounced the

CHRIS JACKSON GETTY IMAGES Catherine Deneuve has denounced the"puritanism she says is behind the #MeToo movement

Silvio Berlusconi has backed Catherine Deneuve's letter against the #MeToo campaign and said "it's not an offence to court women".

Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, known for his "bunga bunga" parties and fondness for younger women, has pronounced that women should be happy if a man tries to seduce them.

Berlusconi said "It's not an offense to court women if it stays in the realm of elegance", and that it was only "natural" that women enjoy the affections of men.

Berlusconi said that "the important thing is that the courtship is elegant". Berlusconi was convicted in 2013 of having sex with an underage prostitute, an exotic dancer nicknamed "Ruby the Heart Stealer", but was cleared two years later following an appeal.

Deneuve is one of around 100 French women who have criticised the "MeToo" movement, accusing it of being a "witch-hunt against men".

The #MeToo movement started with dozens of accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein
ANDREAS RENTZ GETTY IMAGES The #MeToo movement started with dozens of accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein

However he is now on trial accused of bribing witnesses in the case.

The letter also attacked the wave of "puritanism" which had been unleashed by the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations, suggesting it was fuelled by a "hatred of men".

Weinstein has been sacked from his own eponymous film company over the allegations, but denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Billionaire Berlusconi's Go Italy party (FI) is now doing well in opinion polls ahead of a March 4th election, although he is not able to run for office due to a tax fraud conviction.

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