TV Host María Celeste Arrarás Reacts to Criticism by Selena Quintanilla's Father Over El Secreto de Selena
Selena Quintanilla's dad Abraham expresses indignation over TV series El Secreto de Selena and lashes out at TV host María Celeste Arrarás, the executive producer of the series and author of the book the story is based on. Here is what the renowned Puerto Rican journalist had to say.
Abraham Quintanilla, the father of the late Queen of Tex-Mex Selena Quintanilla, expressed his indignation and sadness over the series El Secreto de Selena, airing on Telemundo. In a press release titled “Opening Old Wounds” that he shared on the Facebook page of his company Q Productions, he wrote, “The last few weeks my family and I have lived through a real torture, avoiding media and ignoring the lack of respect and the nerve of María Celeste Arrarás, a false journalist, that mocks and — as if she was possessed — dances on the grave of our beloved daughter Selena, with her false documentary that she calls a true story. It's definitely not a true story because it's based on falsities that — although are scandalous and sell — also hurt and soil the name of an innocent person who can no longer defend herself. María Celeste Arrarás's main objective is to make money and use Selena's fame to gain her own, not to clarify any mystery, because the court carefully studied all the circumstances and made a clear and conclusive decision.”
Quintanilla also accuses Arrarás of basing the series on the testimony of Selena's murderer Yolanda Saldívar and ignoring her family's version of the story. “She invents a romance that never existed,” he adds, referring to the alleged affair the singer had with plastic surgeon Ricardo Martínez, which the doctor has confirmed to the press, but Selena's family vehemently denies. Selena's father says that her daughter's life is painted in an inaccurate manner on the TV series, which hhe says presents “an alternate reality.” “Selena was happy, she was not suffering like the false journalist assures. She had a lot to live for and she was anxiously awaiting the best moment of her career with the release of her first English-language album,” he adds in the press release.
The father of the beloved “Como La Flor” singer concludes in his message, “She cannot defend herself because Yolanda Saldívar killed her, and I cannot stay quiet when María Celeste wants to kill her good name with that shameful caricature she calls a documentary. Today and always, as long as God grants me life, I will defend and honor the memory of my beloved daughter Selena, no matter who is against it.”
The renowned Puerto Rican journalist reacted to Quintanilla's criticism, telling People en Español exclusively, “The idea here is not to start a war of words with Selena's father. I have said for many years that if there is something I agree with him on it's that a mother or father never really gets over losing a child. And I wouldn't ever want to imagine the pain they felt and continue to feel. I'm answering in the most polite possible way after all the horrible things he said about me because he put me in a situation where I had no other choice but to defend the integrity of my work.”
Arrarás also shared a post on Instagram expressing her thoughts on Quintanilla's message. The Al Rojo Vivo host shared a photo of herself interviewing Abraham Quintanilla decades ago with an open letter saying, “My intention was never to offend Mr. Quintanilla or his family. Since I started my investigation of Selena's murder 24 years ago, as part of a special coverage I was assigned, I have always made sure to do it with accuracy and respect. That is so true that after I interviewed her murderer in 1995, Mr. Quintanilla himself called me to ask me to interview him exclusively. On that occasion, he began by telling me in front of the cameras that he thought the way I questioned and rebuked the testimonies of Yolanda Saldívar was very professional. It was his initiative to do that interview in recognition of my journalistic work. El Secreto de Selena, which is the series based on the book of the same title that I wrote, does not favor the version of the convicted killer. I would never do something like that. It is based on evidence, on documented facts and the testimony of witnesses.”
Arrarás reveals that before her book was even published, when it was only a manuscript, Abraham Quintanilla was already threatening to take legal action against her to forbid its publication. “That threat was never materialized because you cannot sue for defamation a work that is not defamatory,” she emphasizes, adding that Abraham Quintanilla also forbid Chris Pérez, Selena's widower, who wrote a book about their love story, from making that into a movie. “Chris could not do it because Mr. Quintanilla took him to court and forbid it,” the journalist writes.
In a second Instagram post, the TV host adds that she donated the profits from the sale of her book to create scholarships for students and that it was never her intention to commercialize Selena's story and profit from it. “Like all of you, I applaud Selena's legacy and it was because of that admiration, that I, as a fan, wanted to know the complete story of what happened,” she concludes.