ROME — Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi brushed aside international outrage from earlier this month on Sunday to make reference once again to US president-elect Barack Obama's "suntan."
He told ANSA news agency his initial remark was intended as a "compliment," adding that he is equally "envious" of black supermodel Naomi Campbell.
"My compliment to Barack is a little envious," said Berlusconi, who had what he described as a "long, cordial" telephone conversation with the new occupant of the White House — instigated by Obama — on November 7.
"We would all like to be tanned like Naomi Campbell and Obama," said the self-made billionaire, who sports a permanent tan, during a press conference in Pescara, Italy.
Italian-born French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was so outraged at Berlusconi's initial comment about Obama being "young, handsome and even tanned," she said she was "happy" to have "become French."
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