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Despite The Quintanilla Family’s Protests, Telemundo Is Moving Forward With The ‘El Secreto De Selena’ T.V. Series

Selena’s life has touched her fans ever since she hit the music scene. Her contagious smile and bubbly lyrics made her a favorite of both Spanish and English speaking music lovers alike. However, it is her death that has mystified the world for the past 24 years. Since that day in March of 1995, Selena’s fans have grieved the loss of the Queen of Tejano music and condemned the woman who took her life. Now, the story of her death and the following murder trial of her killer will be brought to US TV screens. 

Telemundo has announced their new series — “El Secreto de Selena” — that will explore the murder investigation and trial following Selena’s death. 

Twitter / @mediamoves

The series is based on the bestselling book by Puerto Rican journalist Maria Celeste Arrarás. Back in 1995, Arrarás covered the trial of Yolanda Saldívar and also conducted a questionable interview with the former fan club president. The Quintanilla family has long been vocal against the accuracy of Arrarás book. 

In the past, sister Suzette has called it “based on a whole bunch of lies.” 

As such, the family was not involved with the production of this series. 

The family is involved, however, in a Netflix original series about the late star’s life. The untitled Selena project was announced at the end of 2018 and will begin production soon. 

Of course, it’s not that surprising considering the disputes they’ve had over Selena’s estate. 

Previously, patriarch Abraham Quintanilla and Selena’s husband, Chris Perez, have gone through litigation around the use of Selena’s likeness and story for any sort of media content. 

Back in 2016, Perez wanted to produce TV series based on his memoir “To Selena With Love.” The courts found in the Quintanillas’ favor and the series was scrapped. 

This controversial new series aired last year on Telemundo in Mexico and South America and will air in August in the United States.  

In the series, Mexican actress Sofía Lama plays Arrarás, who also serves as a producer for “El Secreto de Selena.” In her book, the journalist shows herself as a protagonist alongside Selena and Saldívar. As such, the series will follow this narrative and Arrarás character will have quite a bit of screen time. 

The role of Selena is played by Mexican actress Maya Zapata.

Zapata has acted in several television series and movies, including 2007’s “Bordertown” with Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Lopez. Of course, Lopez’s first starring role as an actress was in the 1997 movie “Selena,” proving it really is a small world. 

Damayanti Quintanar plays Yolanda Saldívar.

The former president of Selena’s San Antonio-based fan club, Saldívar was confronted by the Quintinilla family for embezzling funds from Selena’s clothing boutiques. After she was fired, she lured Selena to a Corpus Christi hotel, begging for the chance to talk. It was there that she shot and killed the music star. Saldívar is eligible for parole in 2025. 

Rounding out the ensemble cast, Venezuelan actor Daniel Elbittar portrays Selena’s husband Perez. The Quintanilla family is played by Jorge Zárate (Abraham), Baltimore Beltran (AB), Bárbara González (Suzette) and Úrsula Pruneda (Marcella).

The 13 episode run will first air in the States on August 25th with new episodes every Sunday. 

Twitter / @Telemundo

The series will combine the acted script and real testimonials from Selena’s murder investigation and the trial of Saldívar. 

While we aren’t sure if this new series will tell us anything we don’t already know about Selena’s life and death, we are certain that it will be an emotional series for Selena fans to watch.  

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