Abraham Quintanilla Criticizes Maria Celeste Arraras Regarding 'El Secreto de Selena' Series

Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images
Selena in the press room at the 1994 Grammy Awards in New York City. 

UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect Maria Celeste Arrarás' reply to Abraham Quintanilla's post. 

 

Maria Celeste Arrarás, the journalist and Telemundo television host, has published a post on her Facebook account in response to an earlier post by Abraham Quintanilla, the father of late singer Selena. 

"Since I began investigating Selena's murder 24 years ago, as part of a special assignment, I have always tried to do so in a serious manner and with respect," wrote Arrarás as part of her post. "So much so, that after I interviewed the murderer in 1995, Mr. Quintanilla himself called me to ask that I interview him for television. On that occasion, he began by telling me on camera that he found it very professional how I questioned and refuted Yolanda Saldivar's testimonies. It was HIS initiative to carry out that interview in recognition of my journalistic work. "El Secreto de Selena", which is a series based on the book of the same name I wrote, does not favor in any way the version of the convicted murderer. I would NEVER do such a thing. It is based on evidence and documented facts."

See full post below:

Quintanilla's initial comments were posted on the Quintanilla Productions Facebook page after Telemundo launched the series El Secreto de Selena (Selena's Secret), which is an adaptation of the book of the same name written by Telemundo journalist Maria Celeste Arrarás and published in 1997.

The series, which premiered on Aug. 25, is based on Selena’s murder trial and reveals details of Arrarás’ investigation of the case as well as her interview with the killer, Yolanda Saldivar.

According to Quintanilla's Facebook post, the series has false details, including evidence and a romance that didn't exist. He also emphasizes that the series reopens wounds of the past. "The true story is that since the death of my beloved daughter Selena, my family and I have dedicated every second to protecting, elevating and honoring her short life."

He continued: “Selena was a young woman with great aspirations and focused on her family and her musical career, her clothing designs and her many projects. The whole world was at her disposal because she was a woman with high values ​​and tireless desire to fight. A criminal stole her life and she stole our happy days, her cheerful laughter, her hugs and her desire to live.”

On her end, Arrarás has repeatedly stated that her book is based solely on facts, and that she in no way meant to dishonor Selena's memory. On the contrary, she states, all her profits from the book have gone to fund fashion scholarships in Selena's name. 

"Before the book was published, when the manuscript was still in my possession and nobody had read it, Mr. Quintanilla was already threatening to take legal action to prevent its publication. That threat never materialized because you cannot sue for defamation a book that does not defame. I have no doubt that if the book was based on lies, he would have sued me, just as he did to Chris Pérez, Selena's widower, who wrote a beautiful book about his relationship with Selena and wanted to take that love story to the screen. Mr. Quintanilla took him to court and curtailed his plan to do a series for television."

After the premiere of the series, Billboard contacted the Quintanilla family who did not want to comment at the time.

"As long as God gives me life, I will defend and take care of the memory of my beloved daughter Selena," Abraham Quintanilla concludes.


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