In Florida this morning, the son and daughter-in-law of the late Juan Gabriel filed a lawsuit against Univision and Telemundo for $100 million. Ivan Aguilera and his wife Simona allege that both Spanish-language networks broadcasted “fictitious, defamatory stories” about them, which included multiple stories on Joao Aguilera, who claimed to be the son of Juan Gabriel.
Ivan states that these networks profited off the legacy of his late father by exploiting lies and damaging their reputation, Fortune reports.
The lawsuit states that “Joao was not part of Juan Gabriel’s family unit during Gabriel’s life, did not participate in any family functions during Gabriel’s life, and waited more than 25 years, until Gabriel passed away, to say anything about his supposed relationship to Gabriel. Joao has come forward in the press and the courts to make a dubious posthumous claim that Gabriel was his biological father.”
Several programs produced by Univision, including “Primer Impacto,” are listed in the lawsuit.
One of the allegations by Joao that is listed in the lawsuit states that Ivan, cremated his father – against his wishes, “because they wanted to get rid of the body to avoid DNA testing.” Ivan claims that “In reality, Gabriel instructed in writing that his body be cremated.”
“Univision published a series of sensationalistic stories, covering Joao’s claims as if it were a soap opera or Spanish ‘telenovela,’ and broadcasting them for their value in generating ratings and clicks, and titillating Univision’s viewers and readers, despite the incredible and knowingly false nature of the claims. Any responsible journalist would carefully check allegations, such as that the Plaintiffs are thieves, or that they had no relationship with Gabriel, before publishing them,” the lawsuit states.
To read the court document filed by Ivan Aguilera click here.