Spain’s First Lady Begoña Gómez is suing a Spanish TV talkshow host for claiming that she is transsexual and also that she is involved in a drug trafficking ring in Morocco.
Pilar Baselga, a well-known figure on the right-wing Distrito TV channel, made the claims on the network’s ‘Los Intocables‘ (The Untouchables) programme in November 2022, and it has since been revealed that Gómez made a legal complaint against her before a Spanish court. Baselga could now face possible charges for ‘insults and slander’.
Gómez’s legal representation has also filed a complaint against the programme’s director and presenter, Eurico Campano, and the programme itself.
Distrito TV has reported stories based on hoaxes and conspiracies before. This hoax, in which they refer to Gómez as ‘Begoño’, deliberately using the masculine ending of her name, has made waves in Spain’s conspiracy-laden right-wing social media networks.
Speaking in November, Baselga stated: “Our dear first lady, well second lady because the first is the Queen… I dare say that there are suspicions that in the beginning it was ‘Begoño’. This wife of the President comes from a family with a tradition of gay saunas, it has to be said.”
Criticising Gómez’s position at the prestigious Universidad Complutense de Madrid, which Baselga implied she was given through her husband, Baselga then went on to make some startling claims about Gómez’s supposed role in a Moroccan drug smuggling gang: “Then she started working for a business institute with an Africa programme… and they have involved her in a drug trafficking issue in Morocco.”
“And apparently,” Baselga added, “the Moroccan secret service has evidence that Begoña Gómez is involved… would be involved in drug trafficking issues in Morocco,” according to Spanish daily El Diario.
Campano has since described Baselga’s statements as “absolutely regrettable” and Distrito TV requested that she make a video to clarify her remarks.
She responded with a statement that it had been “a mistake on my part to interpret information that is being spread on various Spanish social media networks.” She also stated that her words were “misinterpreted” and that “it has never been my intention to offend anyone, as transsexuality has been present in my family circle for almost 20 years.
Baselga even claimed that the response to her comments was transphobic because “it considers transsexuality a negative thing.”
These evasive apologies, which were no doubt made in an effort to avoid the legal action, made no mention of the claim about Moroccan drug smuggling.
Though it seems the original video has been deleted by Distrito TV, the following tweet thread compares at length what was said in the original broadcast and the apologies made a few days later.
Como han borrado el vídeo del programa de los bulos sobre Begoña Gómez y esta es una cuenta de servicio público, he hecho esta comparativa con lo que se emitió y la falsa disculpa posterior.
Como dicen en Distrito TV: dentro vídeo (1/4). pic.twitter.com/G7BePxsK28
— Arte Facha (@FachaArte) November 30, 2022
Gómez’s legal representation is requesting a conciliatory meeting with Baselga and Campano, who are asked to “agree to acknowledge clearly and forcefully the spurious nature of their statements, and the falsehood of these messages aimed solely at harming” not only Gómez but Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez himself.
Gómez’s lawyers demand that the two conspiracists make an apology “publicly and prominently using the same media in which the statements were made, or if there is not, another of a similar nature.”
Gómez’s team is also claiming compensation of €100,000.