Santiago Creel, 64, a Mexican politician, shares a daughter with telenovela star Edith Gonzalez. The actress passed away on June 13 after battling ovarian cancer for more than three years. She was 54.
Their daughter, Constanza, was born in 2004. Creel did not publicly acknowledge that Constanza was his child until 2008. Gonzalez explained in an interview that year that she had known Creel for several decades and that he had “always been present” in their daughter’s life.
Here’s what you need to know about Santiago Creel.
1. Edith Gonzalez & Santiago Creel First Met When She Was a Teenager
Edith Gonzalez says she was first introduced to Santiago Creel at a bullfight when she was 14 and he was 25. After the news came out in 2008 that Creel was the father of her young daughter, Gonzalez told People that they met again several years later at a benefit event.
The magazine used the word “torrid” to describe the pair’s romantic relationship. Gonzalez explained at the time, “I had recently gotten out of a very difficult relationship, and he was searching for new horizons in his personal life. Perhaps what united us at that moment was solitude.”
Gonzalez admitted that the pregnancy was not planned. She said she and Creel remained friends and that he was actively involved in his daughter’s life.
2. Santiago Creel Was Born into a Political Family, Earned a Master’s Degree in the United States & Taught Law For Two Decades
Santiago Creel was born in 1954 in Mexico City. His family is known for its political affiliations. His father was René Creel Luján, one of the reported founders of the conservative National Action Party, according to the elder Creel’s obituary.
Creel earned a bachelor’s degree in law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He then spent time in the United States as a student. Creel studied at Georgetown University and earned a master’s degree in law from the University of Michigan.
After receiving his law degree, Creel returned to Mexico City. He practiced law at the law firm of Noriega y Escobedo for nearly two decades and became a managing partner. Creel also became a professor. He taught at ITAM Law School and became the school’s Dean.
3. Santiago Creel Was a Member of Former Mexican President Vicente Fox’s Cabinet
Santiago Creel followed his father’s footsteps and pursued a career in Mexican politics. In 2000, he ran against Andrés Manuel López Obrador to become “Head of Government” in the Federal District. Creel represented the National Action Party and came up short in that election.
But Creel’s political luck took a turn later that year when he was asked to serve as the Secretary of the Interior by President Vicente Fox. Creel was in the position from December of 2000 until June of 2005.
4. Creel Ran to Become His Party’s Nominee for President of Mexico But Lost & Instead Became the Speaker of the Senate
Santiago Creel stepped down from his post as Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior in order to run for president. But he failed to capture his party’s nomination. Felipe Calderón won the National Action Party’s primary and went on to win the presidency, serving through 2012.
Creel became a member of the Senate following that primary election. He served as Speaker of the Senate and Chairman of the Senate’s Political Coordination Committee. He left the Senate in mid-2008. Creel attempted another primary presidential run in 2012 but fell short.
In 2014, Creel was named to the Board of Directors for a company called EZCORP.
5. Santiago Creel Has Been Married to Paulina Velasco Since 2010
Santiago Creel first met his current wife, Paulina Velasco, while he was working as Secretary of the Interior in President Fox’s administration. The couple dated for four years before tying the knot in late 2010, according to Quién magazine.
Creel and Velasco welcomed a daughter in November of 2009. They named the little girl Paulina, after her mother. They had a second daughter named Miranda in 2013.
Creel has a total of six children. He had a son and two daughters with his first wife. According to Latin Gossip, Creel separated from his first wife in 2005.
Edith Gonzalez gave birth to their daughter Constanza in 2004.