Woman claiming to be PELE's secret daughter wants the football legend dug up for paternity test

Tuesday, January 23, 2024
 – A woman who claims to be the secret daughter of football icon Pele is demanding the exhumation of his body.

Maria do Socorro Azevedo, 60, first launched a paternity suit five years ago and is now instructing a lawyer to make the move.

Pele died on December 29, 2022, at the age of 82 after having a tumour removed from his colon.

He duly recognised the possibility he could have another child in his will. He married three times and officially has seven children, although one is a stepdaughter. Two of his children, Edinho Nascimento and Flavia Christina, agreed to DNA tests after the reading of their father’s will.

Now reports in Brazil, quoting Maria do Socorro Azevedo’s lawyer Marcos Fernando dos Santos Sousa, said the initial tests they had done came back negative - but that his client’s DNA test had come back with “high possibilities” of a blood link.

Mr dos Santos Sousa said they now had “no option” but to request the exhumation of Pele’s body to “resolve the situation.”

The football star is said to have agreed to a DNA test but died before it could take place.

Maria do Socorro Azevedo spoke publicly about her claims that she is Pele’s daughter on a Brazilian TV programme on Sunday, Jan. 21, and insisted she was not interested in his money. She said her late mother had never told the former Brazil and Santos forward she was pregnant with their child after a fling in Sao Luis in the Brazilian state of Maranhao.

Maria, who hails from the state of Piaui in north-east Brazil, said she had first decided to do a DNA test in 2019 when she was working as a maid in Sao Paulo.

Pele left 30 per cent of his estate to his widow, third wife Marica Aoki, with another 60 per cent to be split between his children and 10 per cent to two grandchildren. His net worth at the time of his death has been put at around £ 78 million.

If Maria do Socorro Azevedo ends up being recognised as his eighth child, she would be able to claim her share of the estate awarded to her siblings.

A lawyer acting for Pele’s family, Augusto Miglioli, said his family would contest any exhumation demand on the basis that the DNA tests already carried out had shown Maria was not the footballer’s daughter.

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