Texas Judge Allows Lawsuit Against Selena Quintanilla’s Widower Chris Perez

Slain Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez’s father is being allowed to bring a lawsuit against her widower husband. A Texas judge ruled that Abraham Quintanilla can proceed with his legal action against Chris Perez over a TV series about the deceased singer that he doesn’t want to be made.

The proposed Selena television series, if allowed to proceed, will be based on an unauthorized Selena biography called To Selena With Love, which was written by Chris Perez. Lawyers for Perez argued that the judge rule to dismiss the lawsuit, citing freedom of speech as their reasoning.

The case went in front of 148th District Court Judge Guy Williams on Friday. Perez and his legal team were hoping for a victory in their efforts to make a television series about his late wife a reality. The request to dismiss the lawsuit was not successful though and Abraham Quintanilla will be allowed to move forward in his efforts to stop the To Selena, with Love television series from happening.

Selena’s father is suing Perez and two different companies who are looking to develop the TV series based on Perez’s book. Billboard reports that the lawsuit cites a deal that Perez signed after Selena’s 1995 murder that gave her estate all rights to the Tejano singer’s name and likeness.

The agreement with Perez was signed just two months after Selena’s untimely death. Quintanilla says that it was done in an effort to prevent Perez from exploiting his daughter’s memory for money. There is a benefit to Perez in all of this. He still earns 25 percent of the net profits on anything with Selena’s likeness, her estate just controls when and what projects they will allow the popular singer’s likeness to be used on.

Despite Selena’s father moving through legal channels to block Chris Perez from developing the To Selena, with Love television series, it has been reported that Perez already has earned more than $3 million.

Chris Perez married Selena Quintanilla in 1992, just three years before her death. They reportedly met in 1989 when Perez joined Selena y Los Dinos as a guitar player. Although Perez had a girlfriend at the time, there were reports that his feelings for Selena were reciprocated and the pair carried on a secret relationship for some time out of fear that her father would try to end it.

Selena Quintanilla-Perez was shot and killed on March 31, 1995 by her fan club president Yolanda Saldivar. Selena’s killer had previously been a close friend of the Tejano star and was also an employee prior to running the fan club. When police tried to arrest Saldivar for her crime, the woman threatened to kill herself. Police were able to convince her to give herself up and now Saldivar is serving life in prison for shooting Selena.

Just two weeks later, then-current President George W. Bush declared Selena Quintanilla’s birthday “Selena Day” in Texas. In addition to becoming the first Tejano singer to win a Grammy in 2004, Selena also managed to debut at the top of the Billboard 200 after her death when Dreaming of You was released. The posthumous album sold more than 5 million copies.

Just two years after her death, Warner Brothers released a movie about the life of Selena starring Jennifer Lopez. It can be said that Selena actually became better known outside of her core group of fans when the Lopez-led movie about her life was released.

Selena Quintanilla is buried at the Seaside Memorial Park in Corpus Christi, Texas. She has remained popular after her death and as of 2014, has reportedly sold more than 60 million albums.

Although a Texas judge ruled in Abraham Quintanilla’s favor regarding the making of the To Selena, With Love television series that the slain singer’s father is trying to stop, that doesn’t mean it won’t be coming to TV screens in the future. This was just a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which was denied. Now Selena’s father and her husband will continue to battle over whether the series will be allowed.

[Featured Image by Vince Bucci/Stringer/Getty Images]

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