Lugo denies payoff as paternity suit withdrawn
The third woman to have filed a paternity claim against Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, a former Catholic bishop of San Pedro, has withdrawn her case citing “personal reasons.”
Hortensia Moran had claimed that Lugo fathered her son, who is now 2.
A spokesman for the president denied reports that Lugo had reached a financial settlement with Moran.
A scandal erupted in Paraguay in April 2009, when Lugo admitted having fathered the then-2-year-old son of Viviana Carrillo, a former parishioner, while he was still a bishop. DNA testing confirmed that the president was the father.
He legally recognised the boy and agreed to pay child support. Last August, the president spent a day with his son.
According to local media reports, the bishop began a long relationship with a young woman when she was 16, approximately five years after his 1994 appointment as Bishop of San Pedro.
The woman, now 26, bore his child in 2007. Lugo resigned his office in 2005 but remained a bishop until his laicization in July 2008 – two weeks before his presidential inauguration.
Another woman, Benigna Leguizamon, a campaign worker filed a paternity suit against Lugo that month, but withdrew it later in the year.
Paraguayan newspapers reported that Leguizamon, who had lived in a shack in a poor neighbourhood, has now moved to a better home near Ciudad del Este and according to the Associated Press, “Newspapers in the capital have shown her running errands in an SUV and police guarding her residence.”
On 2 February, Lugo’s lawyer, Marcos Farina, said he did not know whether financial settlements had been reached with either of the women who withdrew the paternity suits.