By RICARDO CASTILLO
Six years ago, then-recently instated Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had a double honeymoon. One, of course, was as president, and the other was with his newly acquired sweetheart, soap opera star, Angelica Rivera, famous back then for her role in telenovela “Distilling Love.”
Rivera played the role of a well-pedicured ,barefoot farm girl with big, false eyelashes and perfectly groomed hair, whose nickname was la Gaviota, (the Seagull), and who worked at a tequila distillery. The soap was a huge success, not just in Mexico, but in all of Latin America, where, when visiting as Mexico’s presidential couple, throngs of people gathered to see, not Peña Nieto, but his wife, la Gaviota.
Enrique and Angelica united their two previous families and formed one with six young boys and girls and lived as a royal family for as long as Peña Nieto was king of Mexico, a period that ended last Nov. 30, at the end of his six-year term.
By that date, according to sources, Rivera had already filed for divorce on the grounds of infidelity and, even more importantly, because of her husband’s brutal downfall in popularity, which of course would not help her career as an actress should she want to pick it up again.
Peña Nieto did not want to sign the divorce as president and he waited for over two months after stepping down to do so. The announcement of the split was made officially public on Feb. 8.
However, things have changed a lot since then. From requesting a more-or-less reasonable alimony back when she first filed for the divorce, the Seagull upped her alimony demands exponentially, as was made public last week. Perhaps part of the reason for her increased demands was because of her chagrin that her future-ex-husband has, for the past three months, been photographed in Madrid parading around with a blonde model dubbed “his new girlfriend” and published in fashion magazines both in Spain and Mexico.
This apparently ticked “La Gaviota” off to the point that she made her divorce demands skyrocket from what was going to be a reasonable agreement to more, a lot more. According to people near the sentimental separation, Rivera was offended and irritated because Enrique had promised her he would not parade around with his new sweetheart. e broke his promise ad made her look like a fool.
El Universal daily columnist Salvador García Soto – a political but not a society gossip writer – leaked the news last week that Mexico’s former first lady is now demanding as part of her divorce settlement 35 late model cars for her and her entire family, as well as private plane transportation during the next 12 years “to avoid being the object of attacks, mockery or commentaries” due to her relationship with Peña Nieto.
And the list of demands gets even longer, and will keep growing, now that Peña Nieto moved his attendance to parties with his not-so-“alleged” girlfriend, Tania Ruíz, to much more public venues.
Two Saturdays ago, García Soto reported, the couple attended a wedding in Acapulco, where the son of lawyer Juan Collado — a personal buddy of Peña Nieto’s — threw a lavish fiesta for the marriage of his son. The new couple made no attempts at hiding their relationship.
“A person attending the wedding said they – Enrique and Tania – were seen very much in love with each other, dancing all the time,” García Soto wrote. “She ran around greeting people and smiling, a deep contrast with Mrs. Rivera, who almost did not talk at parties. Very differently, Tania was amenable, sociable, introducing herself and greeting everyone and doing selfies with whoever requested it.”
The day after the wedding, there was a bohemians’ party (bohemiada) at Juan Collado’s house, where “by the way” (gossip anyone?) the couple stayed the night.
“There the couple picked up the party again and Peña Nieto looked happier than ever, singing songs and boleros and dancing to that old merengue (Dominican tropical music) that says “And don’t call me the deer, the deer”.
Of course, in Mexican infidelity slang, the person with horns — the deer in this case — is the one being cuckolded.
No doubt Peña Nieto may be having one hell of a time with his new squeeze Tania, 20 years younger than the 50-year-old former president, but like the old adage holds, all good things come at a price, and the longer he exhibits himself, the more expensive his divorce from Angelica Rivera is going to get!