Justice declares Javier Sánchez son of Julio Iglesias 30 years later

Javier Sánchez Santos is the son of Julio Iglesias. Valencian judge José Miguel Bort has declared the affiliation in a judgment in which he highlights the "very physical resemblance" between the two. The decision closes, for the time being, a legal soap opera started three decades ago, when Javier's mother, the Portuguese dancer María Edite Santos, promoted the first demand for paternity. Then, as now, a Trial Court gave him the reason and declared the artist a father, but the decision was overturned on appeal by a procedural defect. The lawyer of Iglesias already advanced last week his intention to appeal the new sentence if it was unfavorable to the interests of the singer, as it has been. And a few hours later the Valencia prosecutor's office has also announced that it will appeal the judgment issued by the Court of First Instance number 13 of Valencia.

The new son of Julio Iglesias, 42, was the result of a relationship between his mother, María Edite Santos, and the singer who met in a party room on the Costa Brava. It was the summer of 1975 and the artist was then married to Isabel Preysler.

Iglesias has been denied in these three decades to practice the DNA test that would have settled, in one sense or another, the legal dispute. His lawyer insisted on Wednesday that he will be willing to do it if the Audiencia de Valencia confirms Judge Bort's argument that the case could be reopened despite having been analyzed by justice in the 1990s. The approach of the lawyer may, however, remain in a toast to the sun, because it is doubtful that at that stage of the process new errands may be possible. Judge Bort points out, in fact, that such "eventuality is procedurally impossible".

Javier Sánchez Santos y su madre, Maria Edite Santos, a su llegada al juicio el pasado 4 de julio.Javier Sánchez Santos and his mother, Maria Edite Santos, on his arrival at the trial last July 4. Reuters / EPV

The artist's resistance to being tested "without the allegation or concurrence of any justifiable cause" has been one of the arguments the magistrate has used to declare him a father. For this purpose, "Section 767(4) of the Law on Civil Procedure" which allows affiliation to be declared in such cases if there are other evidence of paternity.

There was contact

The magistrate highlights, among these other indiciatous elements, the "very physical resemblance" between father and son. "It is true," says the judge "that in principle it could be the result of chance, however, it would be an excessive and imburdened coincidence that, having the actor (Javier Sánchez) that great resemblance and having been conceived precisely in the approximate days when his mother and Julio Iglesias agreed to perform in the same party room, his biological father was, however, a third."

Judge Bort stresses that there is "a record that at the time of conception there were certain contacts and treatments between María Edite Santos and Julio Iglesias, which make the possibility of having been sexual relations between them implausible or insane." The two worked together in the Las Vegas room in Sant Feliu de Guíxols (Girona) and on at least one occasion, on July 19, 1975, they performed in the same show, the judge says, mentioning that a French newspaper published photos of it. "All of which," he continues, "taking into account that the actor was born on April 19, 1976 (just nine months later) is in itself a sufficient indication to declare the affiliation."

The holder of the Juzgado de Primera Instancia 13 de Valencia also points out that it has been demonstrated, thanks to genetic proof, that the applicant is not the son of the ex-husband of María Edite Santos, from whom he took the surname Sánchez. And it highlights as evidence "the insistence maintained for many years by Javier Sánchez Santos and his mother on the supposed paternity of Julio Iglesias", as well as the woman's memories of the villa where the artist was staying, which include "very data very concrete strips about the location and interior layout."

Prosecution Appeal

The judgment, which ends with the order of the magistrate that the judgment be sent to the person in charge of the Civil Registry of Valencia "for the practice of the corresponding rectification and annotation", will be appealed in addition to the artist, by the prosecutor of the case, who also considers that the matter was resolved in the 1990s and could not be reopened, which is known as the exception of res judicata.

The public prosecutor raised the issue in view of pre-trial issues. The judge rejected it and decided to go ahead with the trial. In it, the prosecutor was in the interest of the artist being declared a father. A spokesman for the Public Prosecutor's Office in Valencia has explained the apparent contradiction, stating that, in the event that there is deemed to be no res judicata, the public prosecutor's position is in favour of the existence of affiliation. But since he still believes that the case should not have been reopened at first, and they have not had the opportunity to appeal it for the characteristics of the legal paternity procedure, he will defend his thesis on appeal before the Audiencia de Valencia.

It adheres to the criteria The Trust Project Find out more >