Imane Fadil smiles as she leaves the court in Milan, Italy. File picture: Luca Bruno/AP

Milan - A model who attended Silvio Berlusconi’s notorious ‘bunga bunga’ parties and died in mys­terious circumstances told her sister she was a ‘marked woman’ days before her agonising death.

Moroccan-­born Imane Fadil, 34, was a key witness in the trial of the former Italian prime minister when he was accused of paying for sex with an underage girl and lurid details emerged of debauched sex parties at his Milan villa.

Earlier this month, days before she was due to testify against him again, she died of organ failure after telling her brother and law­yer she had been poisoned. 

Dangerous levels of toxic metals cadmium and antimony were found in her body and, while pathologists and her lawyer ruled out radiation poisoning, police have launched a murder inquiry.

On Saturday night, Ms Fadil’s sister Fatima said the young model had feared for her life in her final days, adding that her life had been destroyed by her involve­ment in the scandal. ‘The court case had become her obsession. She didn’t sleep for days on end with the ques­ tions eating away at her, the fear, disbelief,’ she said. She described how Ms Fadil became penniless, yet rejected her family’s offers of help and lived like a recluse on the out­ skirts of Milan.

‘She said she was a marked woman and said it was unjust that she was suffering financially when it was her that had told the truth,’ said Fatima.

‘When I called her, she had a swollen stomach, her eyes were yellow, with dark circles, she often had blood com­ ing from her nose and all these tubes attached to “clean” her blood, as the doctors called it. This is all the fault of all the stress, the fear, the pressure.’

During Berlusconi’s trial in 2012, Ms Fadil told how young women, some dressed as nuns, would strip and pole­dance, and claimed some were paid €10,000 to stay the night and have sex with Berlusconi, includ­ing Karima El Mahroug, a prostitute

nicknamed Ruby the Heartstealer who was underage at the time. Berlus­ coni, 82, was cleared on appeal.

Berlusconi resigned over the sex scandal in 2011 and now intends to run for the European Parliament in May. He is accused of giving cash and other gifts to more than two dozen models and escorts in exchange for them lying in court during the first trial.

Authorities have not ruled out a rare disease causing Ms Fadil’s death. A full post­mortem is due this week.

Asked about Ms Fadil’s death, Mr Berlusconi said: ‘I never met this per­ son, never talked to her. What I read of her statements made me think that everything was invented, absurd.’

Mail on Sunday