> ANSA English > News

Ruby suffering from form of 'autism' says psychologist

Witness for Berlusconi's defense interviewed El Mahroug 20 times

19 November, 13:30
Ruby suffering from form of 'autism' says psychologist (ANSA) - Milano, November 19 - Psychologists examining Karima 'Ruby' El Mahroug, the Moroccan runaway and nightclub dancer at the center of the trial of Silvio Berlusconi for alleged sex with her when she was underage and alleged abuse of power said on Monday that she demonstrated a form of autism linked to "a very high level of psychological stress". Written reports by state psychologist Maria Teresa Napoli said that El Mahroug "escaped into an imaginary world to flee from reality as a defense mechanism".

Napoli, who was called by the ex-premier's defense team, treated El Mahroug at the Badolato community center in the southern city of Catanzaro where she stayed as an adolescent.

The psychologist who conducted approximately 20 interviews with El Mahroug described Ruby as a "smart and sharp girl" but who was "torn between a modern culture and that of her father".

Napoli told prosecutors that El Marhoug's "lies were due in part to her conflicted personality and form of autism".