Julio Iglesias ruled by court as father of Spaniard, 43

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Spanish singer Julio Iglesias attends a press conference to promote his concert at Regent Hotel in Beijing, China, 1 April 2013Image copyright
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Iglesias, who this year won the Grammy lifetime achievement award, refused to provide DNA

Veteran crooner Julio Iglesias is the “biological father” of a Spanish man whose mother had a brief affair with the singer in 1975, a court has ruled.

The ruling in Spain is a victory for former ballerina Maria Edite Santos and her son Javier Sánchez, 43, who began the paternity claim three decades ago.

Iglesias, 75, had refused to provide DNA, but the judge said there was an “obvious physical resemblance”.

The singer has eight other children, including pop star Enrique Iglesias.

Julio Iglesias is one of the most successful Latin artists of all time, having sold more than 300 million records in 14 languages.

The singer, who won the Grammy lifetime achievement award this year, was not present at the court in Valencia on Wednesday.

Delivering the verdict, Judge José Miguel Bort said the decision was reached in part because of the resemblance between the two men and on the basis of Ms Edite’s testimony.

He said she had provided credible evidence of her week-long affair with the singer at the time her son was conceived.

“The possibility that sexual relations took place between them is not unlikely nor preposterous,” the judge said.

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Javier Sánchez (right) arrives at the Valencia court with his Portuguese mother Maria Edite Santos

Mr Sánchez’s lawyer, Fernando Osuna, said that Ms Edite had the affair with Mr Iglesias in Spain’s Catalonia region in July 1975, and that nine months later Javier was born.

Mr Iglesias, whose defence team had argued that the trial should not have taken place because the case was previously dismissed, can appeal against the verdict.

A clause in the Spanish constitution gives people the right to pursue such paternity suits.

How did we get here?

Mr Sánchez has so far spent 30 years trying to prove that Mr Iglesias is his father.

In 1992, a court ruled in his favour, but he appealed and got the ruling quashed.

The singer, who was married to his first wife while the brief affair with Ms Edite is said to have taken place, refused on several occasions to undergo a paternity test.

This latest Spanish trial was agreed after Mr Osuna argued that new DNA evidence obtained in the US by an investigator was a 99.9% match – although the judge later discarded this evidence in his ruling.

While the DNA did not come directly from the singer, the sample was collected from “a bottle of water” used by his son, Julio Iglesias Jr, which was left on a Miami beach as he surfed.

Tests later showed, the lawyer said, that Mr Sánchez and Julio Iglesias Jr were brothers.

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Gaylon Wampler

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Iglesias, one of the most successful Latin artists of all time, performing in the US in 1993

Julio Iglesias was born in Madrid. Best known for his romantic ballads, he enjoyed huge success during the 1970s and 1980s and has recorded with US artists Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and Willie Nelson.

The award-winning singer has three children born to Isabel Preysler, his ex-partner, and five to his current partner, Dutch model Miranda Rijnsburger.