Divorce is messy and complicated at the best of times, but when you add in billions of dollars, a multinational corporation, and a previous spouse, it can have more twists and turns than a telenovela. Hopefully, that means Lorena Tassinari finds herself in familiar territory after suffering another defeat in a long, drawn out divorce battle that has spanned several lawsuits and crossed the border from Mexico to the United States.
The Dallas News Reports that Tassinari lost her latest lawsuit in July in a Dallas courtroom in her fight to retain at the very least part of her late husband’s tortilla empire. She was married to Roberto Gonzalez Barrera, who controlled Gruma SAB de CV, known as Mission Foods in the United States, which is the largest tortilla maker in the world. The company has a net worth of $2.6 billion.
The reason his spouse at the time of his death has to fight for a share of the company is that it’s unclear whether he was actually divorced from his first wife at the time of his marriage to Tassinari. He had been married to Graciela Moreno since 1949, and had divorced her prior to his marriage to Tassinari, which took place on his yacht. However, after his death, Moreno’s legal team claimed that Mexico had voided the divorce, because Moreno had never been served papers and had never been represented. Further complicating matters was that each side seemed to be working with a completely different set of facts. Even something simple like where Gonzalez was living at the time of his death, whether it was Texas or Mexico, was up for debate.
After being on the losing side of several lengthy legal battles in Mexico, Tassinari took her fight to the US courts. This most recent defeat seems to cement Moreno as the main controller of the company. Tassinari will appeal, which will most likely be her last chance.
Tassinari claims that none of her efforts are about the money. “I’m only looking for my dignity, honesty, and to defend my morals,” she claims. She further mentions that she loved Gonzalez with all her heart, and that she would be happy for the family to simply acknowledge with a thank you that she took care of him in his final years. In the early 1990s, Tassinaro appeared in the telenovelas Muchachitas and Balada por un Amor, and had a singing career as well. She says she’s currently working on new music and a book.
Gruma will remain in Moreno’s control, with her son, Juan, serving as the chief financial officer. Because of the courtroom drama, its shares are no longer traded in the United States, but are still traded in Mexico.
Whether or not you were married to a billionaire tortilla baron, divorce is difficult, painful, and extremely complicated. Trying to get through it on your own could make it even harder. If a divorce seems to be in your future, make sure to contact a divorce attorney in Dallas to help clarify things and help you through the process.