Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi won an appeal against paying his ex-wife alimony on Thursday, as a court told Veronica Lario to repay cheques totalling some €60mn ($70mn).
The Milan court decided in favour of the 81-year-old billionaire, who had insisted Lario was wealthy enough to support herself with her portfolio of €16mn, family jewels and publishing house, Italian media reported.
The four-time premier had been paying the mother of three of his children €1.4mn in alimony as part of a divorce settlement. The payments date back to 2014.
The couple's relationship soured as multiple reports emerged of the media magnate's alleged penchant for partying with young women and hosting "bunga bunga" parties at his Milan villa.
Lario filed for divorce on May 3, 2010, after revelations that Berlusconi had attended the 18th birthday celebrations of Neapolitan model Noemi. She also questioned his mental health and said she could not stay with him.
In 2011, the former prime minister was also linked with 17-year-old exotic dancer Karima El-Mahroug -- known as "Ruby the Heart Stealer".
After being convicted in 2013, Berlusconi was cleared of all charges in 2015.
But Berlusconi, who has hopes of being king-maker in the Italy's general election in May, is on trial accused of witness tampering and pay-offs.
He is accused of paying more than €10mn between 2011 and 2015, in cash, gifts, cars and housing to guests at his residence to testify in his favour in the so-called "Ruby" affair.