surinenglish

End of villa that became a symbol of local corruption

Site of the house which Pantoja sold for 2.2 million in 2015.
Site of the house which Pantoja sold for 2.2 million in 2015. / Josele-Lanza
  • The former mansion of singing star Isabel Pantoja, where she lived with Marbella's ex-mayor Julián Muñoz, is knocked down for development two years after it was sold

It became a symbol of the massive corruption that swept through Marbella in the first ten years of the century.

The eight-bedroom villa called ‘Mi Gitana’ (my gypsy) was in the national spotlight when news reached the world of the scale of the ‘Operation Malaya’ scandal that rocked the resort and its local council.

Located at the entrance to Nueva Andalucía, on the La Pera estate, and near Puerto Banús, this was the former home of Isabel Pantoja, the famous singing star.

Home of the mayor's lover

Pantoja became the lover of Marbella’s mayor from 2002-2003, Julián Muñoz, and they stayed together as a couple until 2009 as the country’s media trained its lenses on their home. Both Pantoja and Muñoz served prison sentences. Pantoja was arrested there in May 2007.

In earlier days, before meeting Muñoz, the villa had seen happier times for Pantoja, when it was truly on the social circuit with events there regularly making the gossip columns.

But it will be for Pantoja’s involvement with the mayor and her help laundering some of the black money that was flowing around the town that it will be best remembered.

Now it has gone, after bulldozers moved in to knock it down in the last few days.

The large home makes way for two smaller properties after it was sold by the artist, known for her flamenco-style singing, in 2015, reportedly for 2.2 million euros and while she was still in jail. She had been asking for 3.8 million.