Diego Maradona is in the middle of a scandal! Venerated by millions as the best soccer player in history and probably one of the few people who has a church dedicated to him (it’s still less weird than Scientology, don’t flatter yourself USA), the legendary player has landed himself the spotlight once again, and not for the best reason.
This time, “El Diego” is in the middle of a new legal battle regarding his finances ever since an audit on his assets, which came to light earlier in July, revealed AR$ 80 million had gone missing. (Has anyone told him to check under the mattress?) Among the irregularities being cited are diversion of funds, which launched a criminal case both in the country as well as overseas.
Diario Popular interviewed Maradona’s lawyer Matias Moria who revealed his client first pointed fingers at his ex-wife Claudia Villafañe, mother of his two most famous daughters Dalma and Giannina (he has a Genghis Khan-like offspring on the side).
He also informed a mediation would take place on July 21st to try find some common ground as to not take the case to court.
Jorge Rial, host of the afternoon talk show Intrusos, revealed that according to the audit, Villafañe owned three apartments valued at around US$2 million each.
“They were bought but not declared to the tax collecting agency, and then sold. She used her maiden name to purchase them. Diego wonders how she did it, if she doesn’t have an income,” explained Rial, who also listed several other irregularities such as an undeclared sum of US$3 million deposited in a Uruguayan bank and US$40,000 in dental expenses. Suspicions only increased when the auditors tracked the dentist down, and found he had retired.
The daughters both intervened and stood firmly by their mother. “It’s time for everyone’s true colors to come out,” stated Giannina. Dalma also defended her and accused the people around her father for causing the conflict: “I’m the first one to say my mom is the most honest person in the world. We have to see what’s on the other side. I think my dad is being poorly advised and is surrounded by bad people. I stand alongside my mom against everything,” she concluded.
I can only hope someone will reveal the plot twist that Maradona and Claudia are long lost siblings to make this the best soap opera ever. A man can dream.
The mediation designed to close the situation via extrajudicial means finally took place last Tuesday. Maradona didn’t show up, but his lawyer did and stated his client only wanted his money. “He doesn’t want anyone to be arrested, he wants to avoid problems,” said Moria. A few moments later, Villafañe’s lawyer and botox aficionado Fernando Burlando talked to the press and pointed out that Maradona’s claim was far from the reported AR$ 80 million. “It’s 5% of that amount.”
This soap’s climax had yet to come. Both lawyers alluded to an event that had taken place a week before the mediation that explained why the parties had been unable to reach an agreement. Byut neither got into the details. Lucky for us, Jorge Rial came to our rescue with the information. “At one point, Diego looked at Claudia and called her a thief to her face. They say that’s when the screaming started. The meeting ended there and they left without saying goodbye,” explained the host.
These scenes probably have nothing on what happened during that meeting. I also feel the need to highlight the awesome title of the video. 100% accurate.
Rial also provided details about an alleged agreement that was broken later. During the mediation, lawyers allegedly settled the dispute, with Maradona recovering the US$3 million his ex-wife had in the Uruguayan bank. However, after Burlando stated the other party’s claims only amounted to AR$4 million, “El 10,” feeling betrayed, unleashed hell and tore down the whole deal.
The former superstar then released a public statement stating his daughters wouldn’t be investigated… contrary to Claudia. “Concerning Claudia Villafañe, I expect her to return what’s mine. As I’ve said over and over… I want my money.” Pretty clear. He later said that no one was pressuring him to pursue the investigation, but at this point you don’t care anymore.
Finally (and congratulations if you’re still reading), Maradona sent a legal notice to his ex-wife through his lawyer, demanding she return all his soccer stuff within 72 hours. We’ll see how that goes.
The next mediation is set for August 6, and taking into account this soap opera’s quality, I can only expect the sibling prediction to be true. We’ll see you next episode.