"Italy is now a great country to invest in ... Today we have fewer communists, and those who are still there deny having been one. Another reason to invest in Italy is that we have beautiful secretaries."
During a visit to the New York Stock Exchange in 2003, Berlusconi touted the benefits of doing business in Italy for America's red-blooded capitalists: fewer commies and more comely, subservient women. The Italian leader's penchant for peppering his speech with sexist comments and references to his own virility ultimately landed him in hot water with the missus. In 2007, he told one of his Cabinet members a former model that "If I weren't already married, I would marry you right now." After his wife demanded a public apology for the "humiliation," Berlusconi obliged in an open letter in which he declared, "Your dignity should not be an issue: I will guard it like a precious material in my heart even when thoughtless jokes come out of my mouth."