Football legend Pelé says he had multiple affairs, has no idea how many children he fathered
According to media reports, Pelé has admitted in the documentary that he had pursued multiple affairs even though he was married thrice, and that his girlfriends/wives knew about it.
“My first wife, first girlfriend, knew about it. I never lied,” he said, according to media reports.
He also confessed that he had so many children with his affairs that he lost count at one point, and has no idea of their existence.
Media sources quoted him as saying, “In all honesty, I’ve had a few affairs, some of which resulted in children, but I’ve only learned about them later.”
Pelé is the father of seven known kids, one of which included late Sandra Machado, whom he did not formally acknowledge as his despite the court’s ruling in 1996. Sandra Machado was the result of an affair with a housemaid named Anisia Machado.
According to reports, Sandra had struggled for years to be recognised by Pelé and had even written a book on it titled, The Daughter Pelé Never Wanted.
Pelé, however, had refused to take DNA tests, which led to Sandra filing a lawsuit against him. The court too ruled in Sandra’s favour after a compulsory DNA test, but Pelé refused to acknowledge her till the end, even when Sandra passed away in 2006 after battling with cancer.
Five of his children: Kelly, Edinho, Jennifer, and twins Joshua and Celeste were from his first two marriages to Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi and Assiria Lemos Seixas.
The former footballer also has another daughter named Flávia Kurtz with journalist Lenita Kurtz, whom he got involved with, in 1968. However, he chose not to recognise her either.
Pelé’s first marriage came to an end in 1982 after he got involved romantically with Brazilian model Maria da Graca Xuxa, who was 17 back then. Talking about his first marriage, Pelé had said, “We had that friendship. That passion you feel when you’re madly in love - we didn’t have any of that.”
He then married gospel singer Assiria in 1994. However, their marriage ended in 2008 with a divorce.
Pelé now lives with his third wife Marcia Aoki after the couple got married in 2016. The football sensation had also admitted that being his wife might have been hard ever since he began taking up commercial deals, which meant he had to travel often across the globe.
In the documentary, Pelé also opened up about the difficulties he faced in life, including the immense pressure he was under during the final World Cup he played in. “I didn’t like it and I didn’t want it. I was praying, ‘God, this is my last World Cup, help me prepare for my last World Cup’.”
Explaining his situation with the “evil dictatorship” back then, the football legend said, “The 1970 World Cup was the best time of my life, but it was more important for the country because if Brazil had lost in ‘70, everything could have become worse.”
In what might come off as an unexpected turn of events for fans, the documentary also portrays the current struggles Pelé is facing. He is currently unable to walk unaided and is seen moving around with the help of a zimmer frame or a wheelchair in the clip.