Italy: Transsexual prostitutes 'afraid' after death

Rome, 20 Nov. (AKI) - Rome's transsexuals feared for their lives after a transsexual prostitute linked to a major political sex scandal was found dead in the Italian capital on Friday, a friend told Italian media. Brenda, the Brazilian transsexual prostitute was found dead after a fire broke out in her northern Rome apartment early Friday.

Transsexuals in the area rejected claims that Brenda committed suicide.

Brenda made headlines after allegedly having more than one sexual encounter with the former governor of the Lazio region Piero Marrazzo in an extortion, sex and drugs scandal, which led to the governor's resignation in October.

"They killed her. I do not know who. She was in a bad psychological state, she wanted to go back to Brazil. Now they must find who did this," said Barbara, a transsexual friend of Brenda, told reporters.

Meanwhile, Rome's public prosecutor said that the case would be investigated as a homicide, adding that Brenda had suffocated from the smoke after the fire.

"We are all at risk. We live in fear," Barbara, told reporters, adding that police were not protecting them.

"The police have done nothing, and all the transsexuals who live in this area are at risk of death. We are very afraid of the Rumanians," Barbara told reporters, adding that the owner of the house where she lived wanted to evict Brenda.

"Brenda wanted to leave, she had already prepared her suitcases," said Barbara.

Early reports said that Brenda's semi-naked body had no signs of violence and a bottle of whisky was found next to her.

Barbara also told reporters that she had a few drinks with Brenda before she died.

"Brenda had been living here for six years. I saw her last night, she was fine, but was very worried. We drank together at a parking lot and then we went to her house where we left her watching television."

Marrazzo, the former governor of the Lazio region (photo), once tipped as a future leader of Italy's centre-left, resigned from his post in late October after a video emerged that apparently showed him with a transsexual prostitute.

When questioned in early November, Marrazzo, who is married with three children, admitted to several encounters with Brenda and another transsexual prostitute named Nathalie.

Later, reports surfaced about another, longer and allegedly more compromising video of him with cocaine.

"I had encounters of this kind with another person, a so-called Blenda (the name Blenda was used in the police minutes), which is a name that I read in the newspapers recently and which I remember," said Marrazzo.

"During one of the encounters with Blenda, I remember seeing another transsexual, but whose name I do not recall. I think I only had two encounters with Blenda," said Marrazzo.

At the time, the magistrate asked the former Lazio governor if he knew anything about a video of him recorded by a transsexual.

Marrazzo said he did not remember "because of his state of confusion due to the occasional consumption of cocaine..."


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