Son of Italy’s arrested prince does ‘not agree’ with father’s actions

ROME, June 27, 2006 (AFP) – Emmanuel Philibert, son of Italy’s Prince Victor Emmanuel, distanced himself from his father who was arrested on suspicion of providing prostitutes and illegal slot machines to a casino, in a newspaper interview published on Tuesday.

"I do not agree with everything my father has done," Emmanuel Philibert told the Italian daily La Repubblica.

"Each one of us is different. That happens between parents and children, it’s normal. But I am not here to judge my father. I must think of his health and hope this affair ends quickly," said the 34-year-old Emmanuel Philibert.

He had earlier defended his father after the prince’s arrest on June 16, strongly denying allegations that the 69-year-old royal — son of Italy’s last king — was the head of a corruption and prostitution racket.

A court last week agreed to Victor Emmanuel remaining under house arrest in Rome instead of in police custody where he had been held on charges of procuring prostitutes and dealing in illegal slot machines.

Among 12 other people remanded in custody or under house arrest in the affair are Salvatore Sottile — spokesman for the Italian former foreign minister Gianfranco Fini — and the mayor of Campione d’Italia, an Italian enclave in Switzerland.

Victor Emmanuel, heir to the House of Savoy, one of Europe’s oldest dynasties, was born in Naples in 1937 but lived in exile for most of his life because of his grandfather’s collaboration with the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

He was allowed to return to Italy in 2002 after swearing loyalty to the republic, but he continued to live in Switzerland, and to manage his businesses from there.

His son Emmanuel Philibert divides his time between Geneva and Paris, where his wife, the French actress Clotilde Coreau, is due to give birth to their second child.

The investigation into the arrested prince’s affairs extended to Emmanuel Philibert, who said he had done nothing wrong. The Italian press has also mentioned his name in connection with a computer piracy affair.

Emmanuel Philibert’s comments followed reports on Monday that Rome’s aristocracy was trying to have Victor Emmanuel thrown out of two exclusive clubs following his arrest.