(CN) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi suffered a broken nose and two broken teeth when a man whacked him in the face with a statue of the Milan cathedral on Sunday. A man with a history of mental illness attacked the billionaire ruler of Italy after Berlusconi gave a pep speech to supporters in Milan.
Berlusconi has been under metaphorical attack from a wide range of sources for year, but as owner of virtually all the dominant media sources in Italy, the attacks have not hurt him much until recently.
Italy’s Constitutional Court stripped him of immunity from prosecution in October, making him a defendant in several corruption trials, though given the glacial pace of Italian justice, and Berlusconi’s wallet, the 73-year-old mogul may be dead before any verdicts are reached.
His wife filed for divorce this year, citing Berlusconi’s repeated affairs with young women.
And thousands of people marched in Rome 9 days ago, demanding his resignation, objecting to conflicts of interest between his business operations and his official position.
Berlusconi was hospitalized after the attack, but assured the country he is “fine.”
Charges are expected against the man accused of attacking him, Massimo Tartaglia, 42.
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