Pele’s Alleged Secret Daughter Pursues Exhumation to Confirm Paternity
A woman, Maria do Socorro Azevedo, claiming to be the secret daughter of football legend Pele, has made a bold move by demanding the exhumation of his body to settle the paternity dispute.
This development comes nearly five years after Maria initiated a paternity lawsuit against the iconic Brazilian footballer.
DNA Test Results Spark Controversy
Initial tests in the paternity case reportedly yielded negative results. However, according to lawyer Marcos Fernando dos Santos Sousa, a subsequent DNA test indicated “high possibilities” of a blood link between Maria and Pele.
Faced with this outcome, the legal representative stated that the only recourse left is to request the exhumation of Pele’s body to conclusively address the situation.
Pele’s Stance on Paternity Before His Passing
Pele, who passed away at the age of 82 on December 29, 2022, had acknowledged the possibility of having another child in his will.
Despite agreeing to a DNA test to ascertain paternity, the footballing icon died before the test could be conducted.
Pele, with three marriages, officially recognized seven children, including a stepdaughter.
Maria do Socorro Azevedo’s Testimony
Maria do Socorro Azevedo publicly spoke about her claims on a Brazilian TV program, emphasizing that her pursuit is not motivated by financial interests.
She revealed that her late mother had never informed Pele about her existence, stemming from a past fling in Sao Luis, Brazil.
Maria initiated the DNA test in 2019 while working as a maid in Sao Paulo.
Stakes in Pele’s Estate and Family Opposition
Pele’s will allocated 30% of his estate to his widow, Marica Aoki, and divided the remaining 60% among his recognized children, with an additional 10% designated for two grandchildren.
Two of Pele’s children had already undergone DNA tests after the will reading. The family’s lawyer, Augusto Miglioli, asserted that they would contest any exhumation demand, citing existing DNA tests that allegedly disproved Maria’s paternity claim.
Pele’s Legacy and Posthumous Legal Proceedings
Pele, the only player to win the World Cup three times, was laid to rest in January of the previous year in a mausoleum he acquired 19 years earlier.
The controversy surrounding the alleged secret daughter adds a layer of complexity to the football legend’s legacy, introducing posthumous legal battles over paternity claims.