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Marrazzo: Italy’s Latest Sex Scandal

The extracurricular transsexual activities of another of Italy’s politicians have been making the headlines in Italy over the last week or so.

Piero Marrazzo (right) next to Walter Veltroni
Piero Marrazzo (right) next to Walter Veltroni

Only this time the person embroiled is Italian politician Piero Marrazzo, the president of Italy’s Lazio region – the same region in which Rome is to be found.  While investigations continue, Marrazzo is on a self-imposed leave of absence.

Marrazzo is a key figure on Italy’s left, and, coincidentally, stories of blackmail in connection with a video made of Marrazzo passing some of his free time in the company of a transsexual made it into the news right on the eve of a primary designed to select the next leader of Italy’s somewhat fragmented left.

Initially Marrazzo claimed that the compromising video was a fake and alleged that the blackmail was politically motivated.  It was revealed that four Carabinieri had being trying to extort money, around €80,000 from him, in return for not making the video public.  Yes, that’s right, it was members of Italy’s Carabinieri – supposedly Italy’s most upright and professional police force – who were allegedly having a go at making a little extra pocket money by blackmailing a politician.  Corrupt Italian cops.

The story seems to have just about unravelled itself now, and includes another protagonist of a recent sex scandal, Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, lending a hand.

20th, 23rd, and 24th November Updates included below.

Why Was the Video Made?

Just why the Carabinieri made the video does not seem to have emerged so far. Some stories in Italy’s press stated that before directly asking Marrazzo for money in return for not making the video public, the Carabinieri had tried to sell the video to Italy’s media.  Other stories say that Marrazzo had refused to acquiesce to the extortion , which is why the Carabinieri blackmailers were trying to sell the video to Italy’s media for an asking price of around €200,000.

Corrupt Carabinieri Cops

Not much is being made of the corrupt practices of the Carabinieri, which is surprising, and, perhaps, in view of the important status of the Carabinieri in Italy, a little worrying.  While reports of corruption involving Italy’s Carabinieri are not common, they do exist, as a quick search will reveal.

That members of Italy’s primary law enforcement bodies should be trying to line their pockets by selling videos of bigwigs caught in compromising situations should set a few alarm bells ringing.  Yet the allure of a sex scandal seems to have overshadowed the gravity of police corruption

One question which might be asked is whether the four police officers involved in the Marrazzo case had tried this on before, or was the Marrazzo video merely a one off.   Or, more sinisterly, were these Carabinieri acting on behalf of, as yet, unnamed parties?

UPDATE: 27th October, 2009

Rumours are floating around that two more politicians may have been blackmailed by the four corrupt Carabinieri.  Nothing is clear yet, though.

UPDATE: 31st October, 2009

A fifth Carabinieri police officer is under investigation in connection with the Marrazzo case.  The rumours concerning the involvement of other politicians are persisting.

Very recently, Italian politician Maurizio Gasparri, Berlusconi ally and a member of the right wing Alleanza NazionaleNational Alliance – party took the somewhat unusual measure of stating that if anyone insinuated that he had been frequenting trans prostitutes, he would sue them.  Whether Gasparri’s name may have come up in investigations into Marrazzo affair is not clear.

Italian readers can find out a little more here: Gasparri, i trans e il fratello generale

Marrazzo, meanwhile, continues to lie low, and is officially taking sick leave.  Early elections to find his successor are not to be called.

Things rumble on.

—end of 31st October, 2009 update.

UPDATE: 20th November 2009

Transsexual involved in the Marrazzo case found dead – and May Have Been Murdered.

Foul play is not suspected – well, not so far, although another transsexual involved in the same case is seeking protection.  From whom?

BBC 20th November:  Transsexual linked to Italy’s sex scandal found dead

Another 20th November Update

Reports coming out in the Italian press indicate that the transsexual found dead, Brenda, may well have been murdered.  This prostitute lived in the 8 square metre raised section of a 10 square metre shared apartment.  Sounds like squalid accommodation for someone who was reportedly charging €5000 for a night for her company.

Either Brenda had huge debts, or someone else was taking a cut.  Could it be that ‘someone else’ is now mopping up a few lose ends before the names of other transsexual frequenting Italian movers and shakers come out in the wash?  Makes one wonder.

Anyway, investigations are taking place as I write (unless they’ve stopped for the weekend, that is).

UPDATEs 23th and 24th November

The Italian press is carrying stories hinting that the death of transsexual Brenda was made to look like a suicide, or in a rather brutal translation of the Italian word, Brenda was ‘suicided’.

Adding to the mystery is Brenda’s laptop computer which was doused in water in an possible attempt to destroy its contents, although reports are coming out that the data may well be recoverable.  There are rumours that there is a second video on Brenda’s computer, though nothing has come to light so far – except for the fact that Brenda did not have a laptop apparently.  The plot becomes as thick as hot tar.

On the subject of data, a second mobile phone, previously unknown to police, has been found.  Brenda’s usual mobile was stolen a few days ago, and it seems as though thieves targeted the phone.

A drug dealer with connections to Brenda and the Marrazzo video case, Gianmarino (Gianguarino – I’ve seen this name too) Cafasso, died of an overdose on the 12th September 2009.

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Prior to his overdose, pusher Cafasso had claimed that he had enough information to blackmail half of Rome.  There are suspicions that Cafasso’s death may have been ‘provoked’ by parties as yet unknown.  Now, after the death of Brenda, investigators are reconsidering Cafasso’s death and looking for signs of foul play, and, somewhat surprisingly, it is only now that the authorities have decided to carry out an autopsy to establish Cafasso actual cause of death.

The question is: Did the authorities know of Cafasso’s links to the Marrazzo situation at the time of the drug dealers death? It looks as though they may not have, and at the time of his death, Cafasso was with a transsexual friend of his – Jennifer.  It all looked like an unhappy accident, although in light of recent happenings, Jennifer is likely to face a few more questions.

Could Marrazzo be behind these suspicious deaths? Unlikely – that would be too obvious.  It looks as though someone else, possibly with more to lose, is mopping up loose ends.  Another question:  Has whoever it may be managed to mop things up satisfactorily? Who knows. Any further deaths, robberies or disappearances will indicate that there are still enough pieces of the jigsaw floating around to allow the police to fit all the pieces together in order to come up with the big picture.

If something comes out in the wash, it’ll be here.

It has now been decided that Cafasso, the trans drug dealer and amateur, er, videographer, was ‘poisoned’ with a lethal combination of cocaine ‘spiked’ with heroine.

Lots of coincidences in this case – the deaths will end once certain people feel safe.

—–end of 23th and 24th November updates

UPDATE 27th November

Brenda’s Laptop

As mentioned before, Brenda, one of the transsexuals at the centre of the Marrazzo affair was found dead, and foul play is suspected.  At the scene of the presumed crime, a laptop was recovered which someone had tried to destroy.  After hearing some conflicting reports, it does appear as though the laptop computer did indeed belong to Brenda.

Police IT experts have managed to recover some 60,000 files from Brenda’s laptop (around 16% of the capacity of the hard disk).  Some of these files are photographs, others are videos, some of which appear to have come from mobile phones.  As to what the videos show, well, this is being kept secret at the moment.

With regard to the drug dealer, Cafasso, who supplied Brenda and her group, it has not been confirmed that he died of an overdose caused by heroin made to look like cocaine.  In other words, it is probable that the drug dealer’s death was no accident.  Investigations are continuing.

—–end of 27th November update

Popularity of Transsexuals In Italy

As the embers of this latest sex scandal continue to smoulder, and aside from the level of corruption which may exist within Italy’s Carabinieri, there is another interesting aspect to this case: the popularity of transsexuals as the sexual playthings of supposedly heterosexual Italian men.  Incidentally, Marrazzo is married and has a young daughter.

Is this a purely Italian phenomenon, or do men in other European countries enjoy trans bedroom company?

Visit any large Italian city and, after the sun goes down, you will probably come across an area in which there are numerous transsexual prostitutes plying their trade.  This indicates that the demand is there, if the Fiat heir Lapo Elkann case wasn’t sufficient proof.

As a matter of interest, the Italian news reported this evening that Marrazzo’s trans tasting night cost €5000 (that’s around 7,500 US Dollars, or 4,600 pounds sterling) – Trans nights do not come cheap.  I wonder if Marrazzo will claim the cost back as an ‘entertainment’ expense.

Curiously, the Berlusconi case did involve mention of transsexuals too.  Which leads nicely into Berlusconi’s own role in the Marrazzo sex scandal.

Silvio Berlusconi saw the Marrazzo and the transsexual video.

The bent Carabinieri had, by all accounts, offered the video to the Berlusconi’s family publishing giant, Mondadori, and the president of Mondadori, who is Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s daughter, Marina Berlusconi, just happened to pass the video on to her dad.

Rather considerately, after having viewed the video and after the story had gone public, Berlusconi contacted Marrazzo, and gave him assurances that Mondadori would not be purchasing a copy.  According to an article in today’s Corriere della Sera, Berlusconi was not so much being magnanimous as attempting to stifle at birth potential accusations that it was Berlusconi’s right-wing political party who were behind a tit for tat attempt to discredit Italy’s left-wing or at least divert attention away from his own sex foibles.

Wise Move By Berlusconi

Berlusconi’s move was wise, seeing as a recent television report on Raimondo Mesiano, the judge who found against Berlusconi’s publishing arm Mondadori, has led to ructions.

The television report, which was made by Berlusconi’s channel 5, appeared to be an attempt to discredit the judge, and thus protect Berlusconi’s image.  The trouble was that the report came off as a pathetic smear attempt.

Far from damaging the judge, it gave the impression that he was a pretty normal person, albeit with turquoise socks, a bit fashion challenged.  No sadomasochistic meetings with a rubber clad dominatrixes for this judge, but merely a mundane trip to the barber, and the now famous turquoise socks.

The episode did far more damage to Berlusconi’s cause than good, and this is possibly why he tried to distance himself and his companies from the Marrazzo meeting the transsexual prostitute video case.

Bad Move By Marrazzo

Marrazzo, after receiving a call from Berlusconi, appeared to redouble his efforts to try and get hold of the video in order to destroy it, before it destroyed him.

A man was reportedly sent to Milan by Marrazzo to retrieve the video, but was intercepted by Italian state police who were investigating the matter.  The police intervened and took the video from Marrazzo’s man in order to prevent it disappearing – which may have meant that an essential piece of evidence in the case against the bent Carabinieri would have been lost.  Another copy of the incriminating video was also seized from the offices of Italian gossip magazine, Chi, part of Berlusconi’s holdings.

The day after, according to the Corriere della Sera article, Marrazzo was told to report to the police.  It was here that he admitted to having been with the transsexual, and that cocaine was present in the Rome apartment of the transsexual who was entertaining him.  It was also during this discussion that Marrazzo was informed that the police knew about the blackmail attempts of the four corrupt Carabinieri cops.

Gentleman’s Agreement

At the same meeting a “gentleman’s agreement” to keep everything low profile was reached.  For reasons unknown, as the affair became more public, Marrazzo decided to claim the video was a fake and state that the Carabinieri had been plotting against him.  And this was after he had admitted to being with the transsexual to the police .

After his initial denial, Marrazzo must have realised that he had dropped himself in lots of brown and smelly stuff, and he decided to come clean, admit to his sexual predilections, and suspend himself from his position as governor of the Italian Lazio region.

The whole affair tarnishes the already chaotic Italian left, further reducing their credibility as opposition to the Italian right.

Who knows what else will come out in the wash?  Whatever, I pity Piero Marrazzo’s daughter.

  • Silvio Berlusconi firm to pay £690m compensation for bribing judge (telegraph.co.uk)
  • Italian Left in turmoil after governor quits because of transsexual prostitute blackmail case (telegraph.co.uk)

Photo Credit:  Jollyroger

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