Daughter who sued Pele dies of cancer at 42
October 17, 2006
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- Sandra Arantes do Nascimento, the daughter of Pele who sued the soccer great to prove he was her father, died of breast cancer Tuesday. She was 42.

She died in Beneficencia Portuguese hospital in the port city of Santos, the hospital said.

Nascimento, who was born Sandra Machado, was the child of an affair between Pele and housemaid Anizia Machado in 1963. For years, Pele, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, denied he was the girl's father and refused to submit to DNA tests.

Nascimento sued him in 1991 and was recognized by courts as his daughter based on DNA evidence in 1993. Pele appealed the court's decision, but it was upheld in 1996 and she was allowed to adopt Pele's surname.

Nascimento wrote a book "The Daughter the King Didn't Want," detailing how she felt about her father's rejection. She later won a city council seat in Santos.

In 2001, she filed suit demanding financial compensation because she didn't have the same emotional, psychological and financial support as Pele's legitimate children -- Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, Kelly Cristina, and Jennifer -- from his first marriage to Rosemary Cholby. The court rejected the claim.

Pele helped Brazil win World Cups in 1958, 1962 and 1970. In 1996, he had two more children, twins Joshua and Celeste, with his current wife, Assiria Nascimento.

Nascimento is survived by her husband and two children.

Burial plans were not immediately available.

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