By Chris King • 17 February 2023 • 20:51
A 77-year-old woman residing in the Malaga city of Marbella is claiming to be the heiress to a deceased Spanish aristocrat, as reported by Diario de Sevilla, today, Friday, February 17. According to her lawyer, his client has proof of her relationship with the late millionaire, Jose Maria de Olivar Despujol.
Despujol passed away on the Balearic island of Menorca on February 19, 2018, at the age of 99. He was an aristocrat and a millionaire, with an estate estimated at around €40 million that was inherited by his nephews and nieces. The wealthy man was unmarried when he died and had no recognised children.
A court in the Menorcan town of Ciutadella today issued an order for the bodies of his parents to be exhumed in order to conduct DNA tests on them. This is because Despujol was cremated so the authorities will test his direct family.
Fernando Osuna, the plaintiff’s lawyer described the move as “a giant step” a few days ago when the court announced that it would set a date for the exhumation. The defendants in the ongoing dispute over the inheritance are Despujol’s two nephews, who both refused to take a DNA test, as did his brothers.
The woman in Marbella insists that Despujol is her biological father. His estate has an estimated €10 million in bank deposits, along with palaces, rustic land, homes, jewellery, works of art, and companies. These are all reportedly distributed between Menorca, Barcelona and Sevilla.
Osuna claims his client has proof of her relationship with the millionaire: “Photographs with a strong physical resemblance between the alleged father and the daughter. Even income from certain amounts that the alleged father made to her”, stated the lawyer.
In the event of the judicial system determining in her favour, the woman stands to inherit at least 25 per cent of these assets.
At the beginning of the year, the judge of Ciutadella not only authorised the exhumation of the remains but also authorised the biological test to exclude the paternity of the man.
According to a report from the digital newspaper Menorca/Es Diari, the deceased recognised the plaintiff as his daughter when he married her mother. A private test was previously carried out with the DNA of her two brothers proved negative.
The woman explained that Olivar Despujol never recognised her as his daughter because her mother was from a different social class – she was a language teacher – and he was a prominent member of Menorcan society. They met in Barcelona, according to Diario de Sevilla.
Despujol was a native of Menorca and spent much of his childhood abroad and also lived in Barcelona. In 1945, his life crossed paths with the mother of the woman who claims he is her father. Her mother was younger than him – she had just come of age. They began a relationship that ended when she became pregnant she claimed.
The young woman had her daughter as a single mother, according to the Sevillian newspaper. However, the aristocrat tried, through a third party, to get money to them. According to his defence, the nobleman even took charge of the child’s school fees. In fact, the lawsuit includes the child’s school records with the paternal surname.
“The daughter’s rights are much stronger than those of the nephews”, Osuna explained. The lawsuit also includes the birth certificate, the exchange of letters between the father and the mother or from other relatives and friends acknowledging the pregnancy and the financial contributions of the aristocrat.
There is a lot of money at stake. Proof of this is that a European investment fund made an offer to the plaintiff to take over the aristocrat’s legal claim to his legacy. At the end of January, the woman rejected the €1.5 million offered to her, reported Es Diari.
The interested investors negotiated with the woman’s lawyers, the Osuna firm, and put forward their proposal, but no agreement was reached. One of their main intentions was to invest in the estates in order to transform them into agrotourism, as reported by 20minutos.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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