The story of Monza, Silvio Berlusconi and 'a bus full of wh*res'
The comedian Dylan Moran once joked that Silvio Berlusconi is "so thoroughly corrupt that every time he smiles, an angel gets gonorrhoea".
The former Italian prime minister is certainly a dubious character.
Only last Sunday, he criticised Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky, which prompted one of Zelensky's aides, Mykhailo Podolyak, to label Berlusconi "a VIP agitator who is acting in the interests of Russian propaganda".
On Wednesday, meanwhile, he was cleared of paying witnesses to lie in an underage prostitution case that has dogged him for more than a decade.
"Finally acquitted after more than 11 years of suffering, mud-slinging and incalculable political damage," he wrote on Twitter.
It is worth noting, though, that while Berlusconi was also acquitted in the original case, he had been found to have paid a teenager for sex.
However, there had been no proof that Berlusconi knew the girl in question was a minor.
One with no previous knowledge of Berlusconi would be forgiven, then, for thinking that he might shy away from discussing – let alone joking about – controversial topics such as prostitution.
But this is a man who has never been afraid to make light of the most uncomfortable of topics, so it didn't really come as much of a surprise when Berlusconi sparked uproar at Monza's Christmas dinner last December while initially paying tribute to the motivational skills of coach Raffaele Palladino.