Julio Iglesias, one of the best-selling crooners of all time, has a secret son. His name is Javier Sánchez Santos, he is 40 years old, and he was raised in a working-class district of Valencia by his mother, a Portuguese dancer.
So claims Sánchez Santos’ lawyer, Fernando Osuna, who gave a press conference on July 6 at the courthouse in Torrent, in Spain’s Valencia region.
Osuna says that he has genetic evidence to prove his client’s claim. A Spanish detective who traveled to Miami allegedly obtained a DNA sample from an unnamed direct male relative of the popular Spanish singer, and the sample was checked against Sánchez Santos’ own genetic profile. There was a 99.9% match. His client, said Osuna, is “happy, nervous and anxious.”
This is not the first time that the Seville-based lawyer has handled a high-profile paternity case. He also represented Manuel Díaz, a young man whom a court last year found to be the son of Manuel Benítez “El Cordobés,” a former bullfighter and Spanish celebrity.
But Osuna is anticipating a long battle against Julio Iglesias’ legal team.
“They will try everything,” he said. “They’ll say that Spanish courts have no power over the matter, that only those in the United States or Dominican Republic do. They will contest the evidence. They’ll say that the detective who collected it later manipulated it. They’ll say that the chain of custody was not legal... I would do those things if [Iglesias] were my client.”
According to the legal claim soon to be filed by the law firm Osuna Abogados, Javier Sánchez was born in 1976 as a result of the relationship between María Edite Santos and Julio Iglesias, who was married at the time to the well-known socialite Isabel Preysler.
The news does not come as a complete surprise. In 1992, María Edite Santos appeared before the media to talk about her affair with the famous singer. Standing next to her was her son, who was 15 at the time and bore a remarkable resemblance to Iglesias.
A court in Valencia ruled in their favor, but the decision was challenged by Iglesias’s legal team and the appeal was upheld. The singer never agreed to undergo a DNA test.
The young man appeared on several television shows and in gossip magazines, explaining he felt hurt” by his alleged father’s attitude. He attempted to make a career for himself in the music industry. Those were the years when his alleged brother Enrique Iglesias was beginning to emerge as a successful singer in his own right.
But once the novelty of his claim wore off, Javier Sánchez’s own career took a nosedive. His work includes albums with titles such as 1995’s Soy como tú (I am like you) and Lucha y verás (Fight and you’ll see) from 1999.
After that, Javier Sánchez dropped off the media’s radar. His lawyer says he is working, although he did not specify in which field. He also said that Sánchez will make a media appearance next week.
They will contest the evidence. They’ll say that the detective who collected it later manipulated it Fernando Osuna, lawyer for Javier Sánchez Santos
If his claim is successful this time around, he will become the ninth official child of Julio Iglesias. The singer has three children with Isabel Preysler – Chabeli, Julio and Enrique – and five more with his current wife, Miranda Rijnsburger: Miguel, Rodrigo, Victoria, Guillermo and Cristina.
Sánchez grew up with his mother and stepfather, who was a cook, in the waterfront district of the city of Valencia, between the neighborhoods of El Cabanyal and La Malva-rosa. In the 1980s and early 1990s, this was a working-class area with a serious drug problem – particularly heroin.
The key to the new case is the evidence obtained in Miami, and whether the courts will consider it acceptable. Osuna says that the sample of organic tissue was taken from a public space and that the procedure was duly recorded. If Julio Iglesias refuses to undergo a DNA test again, this could be construed as evidence against him, said the lawyer.
English version by Susana Urra.