PHOTO: In this Dec. 2, 2006 file photo, Argentina’s former soccer great Diego Maradona and his ex-wife Claudia Villafane, left, support their national team during the Davis Cup Final tennis match against Russia, in Moscow. (IVAN SEKRETAREV / AP)
MIAMI — Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona could have pursued a lawsuit in the U.S. against his ex-wife claiming she misappropriated some of his money to buy Florida real estate, an appeals court ruled.
The state 3rd District Court of Appeal decided that a lower court correctly refused to dismiss the lawsuit against Claudia Villafane. Her lawyers argued the case belonged in Argentina, but the judges disagreed.
The court found that Maradona‘s claims are barred in Argentina because a statute of limitations on them has expired in that country. In the U.S., however, he can still pursue the lawsuit and his attorneys have argued that the alleged improper conduct happened in Florida.
Maradona and Villafane were married from 1989 to 2003. The lawsuit filed in 2015 in Miami claims she improperly used millions of his dollars to buy six condominium units in South Florida. She has denied any fraud.
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