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The mafia have relaxed their rules on homosexuality, a top Italian prosecutor has revealed.

Previously even rumours of being gay were punishable by death, but now the son of a mob chief is living as a drag queen called Lady Godiva.

Anti-mafia investigator Nicola Gratteri said: "It undermines their image of themselves as tough, virile guys. But the mafia have evolved along with society.

"Gays can be accepted now, even as foot soldiers, so long as they don’t parade it in public."

Mr Gratteri, 61, told The Sunday Times he has seen ‘passionate’ letters between a crime boss and a young lieutenant.

He has also intercepted phone conversations revealing that many mafia members enjoy transvestite bars.

The prosecutor said he believes the ’Ndrangheta – the most powerful mob in Italy with an income of £38billion a year – is going soft.

He said: "The young today can’t take the stress of prison in the way their parents did. They get paranoid, depressed. They’re more fragile."

Daily Mail