LATIN AMERICA

Maradona to bring seven charges of theft against his ex-wife

Ex-soccer star will take Claudia Villafañe to court after mediation attempts fail

Diego Maradona did not reach a settlement with his former wife.
Diego Maradona did not reach a settlement with his former wife.Cordon press

Diego Maradona will take his ex-wife Claudia Villafañe to court after their lawyers failed to come to an agreement during three separate mediations.

The retired Argentinean soccer star is to sue the mother of two of his five children, Dalma and Giannina, in his home country and in the United States. Maradona has accused Villafañe of stealing T-shirts and other sports paraphernalia, using his money to buy apartments in Buenos Aires and in Miami, and allegedly mismanaging those real estate properties.

According to journalist Jorge Rial, one of the Argentinean celebrities with the largest number of followers on Twitter, Villafañe will be charged with seven counts.

Life is about living and enjoying it, not getting ‘wasted’ and taking drugs” Villafañe’s new partner to Diego Maradona

The 1986 World Cup winner will accuse Villafañe of committing fraud in the United States where she bought an apartment, passing herself off as a single woman while they were still legally married. The couple wed in 1989 and divorced in 2003, but they did not liquidate their joint assets. Maradona will also ask the United States to revoke Villafañe’s visa and freeze her assets in the country.

The soccer star has accused his ex-wife of stealing a total of €7.5 million, though Villafañe denies any wrongdoing. In a recent TV interview on Buenos Aires’ El Trece network, she said: “I cannot defraud someone I did not harm. Everything I have bought, done or undone since 2003 does not belong to the marital partnership. How do I feel? I feel nothing. I am going to clear up everything in court. The lawyers promise Diego things that later they cannot deliver.”

On Tuesday, the ex-couple’s attorneys held one last meeting in an attempt to reach a settlement. The effort barely lasted 15 minutes and ended without an agreement.

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In 2012, Villafañe began a relationship with theater producer Jorge Taiana. Maradona has described Taiana as a “fool,” saying his money is being used to support him. The producer responded: “Life is about living and enjoying it, not getting ‘wasted’ and taking drugs.”

Meanwhile, Maradona remains in a relationship with 25-year-old Rocío Oliva.

In September, the sports icon will open a bar in Abu Dhabi themed around his soccer career. According to El Cronista Comercial, the establishment will display photographs, T-shirts, soccer balls and other memorabilia relating to Maradona and other soccer stars, including Pelé.

Translation by Dyane Jean François