The red-faced fall of the final Roman emperor
on 27/10/2012 00:00:00
Sporting some dodgy plastic surgery and an eye job or two, he is never far from his bevy of busty beauties and his notorious "bunga bunga" parties. Thanks to implants, the former nightclub singer has more hair now than when he entered politics in the early 1990s.
As head of his political force, Forza Italia, he was the longest-serving post-war prime minister of Italy and held office three times.
Known as Il Cavaliere, or The Knight, he has ruled like the autocrat Tiberius while partying in the manner of Caligula and, like Nero, ignoring Italy's economic freefall to - metaphorically, at least - watch Rome burn.
He has also shown a tendency to cause national embarrassment and make a show of himself when mixing with foreign leaders.
In 2004 at a meeting with the British prime minister, Tony Blair, Berlusconi showed up wearing a polka-dot bandana - apparently because he had just undergone a hair transplant.
Blair's wife, Cherie, told Italian TV how her husband was left red-faced when he saw Berlusconi and told her: "Make sure I am not photographed next to Silvio in a bandana."
In Nov 2008, he described the newly elected US president, Barack Obama, as "suntanned".
This time it looks like Italian justice has finally landed a sucker-punch - but Berlusconi has dodged judicial broadsides before.
He has been called to appear at more than 2,500 hearings involving about100 cases since he was first elected in 1994. Berlusconi says he has spent over €300m on lawyers.
In 2009 he declared he was "absolutely the most persecuted man by the judiciary in all the history of the entire world" - shades of Julius Caesar's paranoia.
His conviction for tax evasion is not his only problem. Berlusconi is also on trial on charges of paying for sex with Karima El Mahroug, a Moroccan-born erotic dancer known as Ruby the Heart Stealer.
With no apology to Bill Clinton, Berlusconi told the all-female panel of judges at his sex trial: "I have never had any intimate relations with her."
He even outlined a list of almost 100 witnesses who attended his parties - many of them luminaries from the worlds of sports and entertainment, including Cristiano Ronaldo and George Clooney.
Berlusconi is not the first former Italian premier to be found guilty of a crime.
Bettino Craxi was convicted of corruption and Giulio Andreotti was convicted of involvement in a Mafia murder.
Neither did any time, so don't expect the Italian Stallion Berlusconi to have to butch-up behind bars any time soon.
I am not a saint...
"When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30% of women said, 'yes', while the other 70% replied, 'What, again?'" Apr 2011
"I am not a saint, you've all understood that." Jul 2009
"I never understood where the satisfaction is when you're missing the pleasure of conquest." On prostitution, Aug 2009
"It's better to like beautiful girls than to be gay." Nov 2010
"The left has no taste, even when it comes to women." Apr 9, 2008
"I will try to meet your expectations, and I promise from now on, two-and-a-half months of absolute sexual abstinence, until [election day on] Apr 9." Promising to put family values at the centre of his campaign for the Apr 2006 general election
"[Mr Obama is] young, handsome, and suntanned." On Barack Obama, upon his election as US president in Nov 2008
"If I wasn't already married, I would marry you right away." To two women which forced him to later make a public apology to his wife
"I am without doubt the person who's been the most persecuted in the entire history of the world and the history of man." Oct 2009
"I trust the intelligence of the Italian people too much to think that there are so many pricks around who would vote against their own best interests." Berlusconi on left-wing voters in 2006
"I am the Jesus Christ of politics. I am a patient victim, I put up with everyone." At the launch of the 2006 election campaign.
"I know that in Italy there is a man producing a film on Nazi concentration camps. I shall put you forward for the role of kapo [guard chosen from among the prisoners]. You would be perfect." To German MEP Martin Schulz at the start of Italy's EU presidency in Jul 2003.
"Let's talk about football and women." (Turning to four-times-married German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.) "Gerhard, why don't you start?" At the Brussels summit in Dec 2003
"Another reason to invest in Italy is that we have beautiful secretaries... superb girls." On Italian secretaries (comments made at the New York stock exchange)
"The best political leader in Europe and in the world." On himself