A Brazillian trans woman at the centre of a scandal involving an Italian politician has been found dead in a burnt-out basement.

The death of the woman, known only as Brenda, is being treated as suspicious, police have said.

She and another Brazillian trans woman were at the centre of a blackmail case involving former Lazio governor Piero Marrazzo.

He was allegedly filmed by police taking cocaine and having sex with one of the women. Both were thought to be prostitutes.

Marrazzo has admitted taking cocaine and using prostitutes. Prostitution is not illegal in Italy.

Brenda was reportedly found half-naked with a bottle of whisky beside her. Two packed suitcases were standing by the door.

Before her death, she told prosecutors she had shot footage of Marrazzo partying with prostitutes and taking drugs.

She said she destroyed her video but another trans woman, named as Michelle, also had a copy.

Prosecutors have suggested that a number of politicians and high-profile figures may have been recorded taking part in embarrassing activities.

Brenda was reportedly attacked and mugged last week.