As Selena fans count down the days until Selena: The Series is released on Netflix on Dec. 4 (that’s 24 days for us Selena stans), the Quintanilla patriarch and older sister, Suzette, are heading to court.
Moctezuma Esparza is suing Abraham and Suzette Quintanilla, as well as Netflix, for breach of contract regarding the rights of the “young Selena” series. Esparza was one of the producers who worked with the family on the highly acclaimed 1997 film, Selena. He claims that Abraham Quintanilla violated a contract agreement signed in 1995, in which he was allegedly given the rights to the life stories of Selena, according to TMZ. According to court documents filed on Nov. 6, Esparza alleges that after the success of the original film, he and Quintanilla discussed creating their own follow-up mini-series together.
During a 1995 LA Times interview with Esparza, he stated, “unlike most makers of movie biographies, he did not seek rights to Selena’s life story. Instead, the filmmakers entered into an unusual formal agreement that gave the family script approval while allowing Esparza control over the production itself.” However, Esparza claims talks resurfaced and an agreement reportedly took place in 1998. Selena’s older sister, Suzette, is allegedly named because according to Esparza, she was present during the talks.
The award-winning producer, entertainment executive, entrepreneur and community activist is seeking one million dollars for breach of contract and has named Netflix, along with the family.
Neither Netflix nor the Quintanilla family have commented on the case, but with the show less than a month away from premiering, this could easily be a case of bad publicity is good publicity.
The case has been scheduled for a Case Management hearing in Los Angeles for Feb. 23, 2021.