MILAN, Italy, April 4 (Xinhua) -- The former nightclub dancer known as "Ruby Heartstealer", who three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi is on trial for allegedly paying for sex when she was underage, apologized on Thursday for falsely claiming to be related to former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
"I made a mistake and now I am paying the price," the 20-year-old Moroccan woman, whose real name was Karima el-Mahroug, said during a self-organized protest in front of the Milan court where the so-called "Ruby trial" has been taking place.
El Mahroug said she lied as she wanted a better life. "I needed to introduce myself as Mubarak's niece to create a life different than mine ... with different origins, far away from the poverty in which I was born and grew up," she told journalists reading a prepared text.
"I understand now that there is a war against Berlusconi and I was pulled in the middle," she said stressing that she was never paid for sex neither had intercourse with him.
The Ruby trial has been suspended until April 22 while the Cassation Court was considering a ruling on a motion to move the case to another court on alleged grounds of biased judges.
Berlusconi is accused for having sex with el Mahroug when she was 17 and then abusing his position as premier to cover it up supposedly to avoid a diplomatic incident with Egypt.
Dozens of showgirls have described sex parties at Berlusconi's houses. The 76-year-old media tycoon, who has faced multiple fraud and corruption trials, has denied any wrongdoing claiming that he was the victim of left-wing magistrates since he entered politics in 1994.
Berlusconi resigned in November 2011 in disgrace sparked by the Ruby trial and others, as well as fears that Italy could fall victim to the eurozone debt crisis. He is now leading the center-right coalition that came second in February's general elections.