Politics


Italy: Ex-governor's transsexual escort found dead


Piero Marrazzo, the former governor of the Lazio region, resigned from his post in late October after a video emerged showing him with a transsexual prostitute and cocaine.

Rome, 20 Nov. (AKI) - The transsexual prostitute at the centre of the sex, drugs and extortion scandal involving former governor Piero Marrazzo was on Friday found burned to death in a fire at her apartment in the Italian capital Rome.

Marrazzo's lawyer Luca Petrucci described the death as "disturbing" in an interview with Adnkronos.

"An inquiry has to be launched to see if there is anything bigger that hasn't come to light yet," said Petrucci.

According to investigators quoted by Italian media, Brenda told her transsexual 'colleagues' late Thursday that she was afraid, telling them she had been threatened and saying she wanted to kill herself.

Brenda's friends also said that she was sober but depressed, telling them she "couldn't go on any more".

The body had no signs of foul play and a bottle of whisky was found next to her, early reports said.

Some witnesses said that they had heard a conversation and a disturbance between 4.30 a.m. and 5.30 a.m. local time on Friday and a fire had broken out in Brenda's apartment.

Reports said that packed suitcases were also found in the apartment.

Brenda's death is the second death related to the Marrazzo scandal.

In September, an associate of the transsexual prostitutes, Gianmarino Cafasso, was found dead of a cocaine overdose in circumstances that are not yet clear.

Marrazzo, the former governor of the Lazio region, once tipped as a future leader of Italy's centre-left, stood down from his post in late October after a video emerged that apparently showed him with a transsexual prostitute.

The video was allegedly shot by four police officers who have since been arrested for allegedly blackmailing Marrazzo for a total of 80,000 euros in exchange for keeping the video secret.

Later, reports surfaced about another, longer and allegedly more compromising video of him and cocaine use.

Brenda told prosecutors that she shot a video at a sex and drugs party she attended with Marrazzo and fellow transsexual prostitute Michelle.

She said she had destroyed the video but that her friend, Michelle, who has since moved to Paris, also had a copy.

When questioned in early November, Marrazzo, who is married with three children, admitted to several encounters with Brenda and another transsexual prostitute named Nathalie.

Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi reportedly warned the centre-left governor about the existence of the sex video allegedly featuring him with transsexuals and assured him it would not be made public in any of his family-controlled publications.

In her last interview on 24 October, Brenda denied ever having any relationship with Marrazzo.

"I have never had any relations with Marrazzo. He had come around this area, but I have nothing to do with it, I do not know anything," said Brenda.

"He was with Nathalie. He even said it."

On 9 November, Brenda was involved in a brawl where she was robbed and beaten. In that occasion, her mobile phone was stolen.




 

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