It was like something from a TV soap - a woman being murdered by the man she rejected. Only, for the actress Daniela Perez, it wasn't a soap…it was real-life
The Brazilian nation were hooked to the soap opera Of Body And Soul. The character Yasmin was about to end her romance with the jealous Bira.
But as the plot thickened, nothing could’ve prepared the audience for the real-life twist that was about to unfold, off camera.
The night after Yasmin’s scene was filmed, in 1992, Daniela Perez, 22 –the actress who played her – was murdered.
She was stabbed multiple times in the chest with a pair of scissors and left in a vacant lot. It didn’t take long for police to find the killer…
Guilherme de Pádua, 23 – the actor who played Bira. He reportedly confessed to the killing, but claimed he acted in self-defence.
He told police that Daniela had threatened to murder his pregnant wife if he didn’t have an affair with her.
He later recanted this though, pointing the finger at his wife, Paula Thomaz. He claimed she was jealous that his on-screen trysts with Daniela had turned into a real-life affair.
Thomaz apparently admitted to taking part in the murder, but later recanted too. Many speculated that Padua had taken his role as Bira too literally, blurring the lines between fiction and reality.
Apparently, he’d even begged script writers not to end Bira and Yasmin’s relationship, getting increasingly upset when they refused.
Many believed he’d fallen for Daniela and attacked her when she rejected his advances. Padua was found guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced to 19 years imprisonment.
Thomaz was convicted of helping him and was sentenced to 18 years and six months. Cheers went up in the courtroom as the sentences were read.
The Brazilian people had justice for Daniela, the actress they adored.