Record-breaking mother was a fraud

A Chilean woman who entered the Guinness Book of Records after claiming she had 58 children was a fraud.

A Chilean woman who entered the Guinness Book of Records after claiming she had 58 children was a fraud.

Leontina Espinoza, who died in 1988 aged 66, only gave birth to 16 children - the rest were given to her by poor women or her cousins, according to a police investigation.

Police spokesman Cristina Rojo said: ‘‘Her idea was to collect the food assistance that the government grants to large, poor families.’’

According to police, one of the children registered by Espinoza as her own was in fact the daughter of her husband, Gerardo Albina, with a granddaughter of the couple.

Rojo said Albina, whose whereabouts are unknown, may face incest charges.

Espinoza attracted international media attention in 1983 when a newspaper reported that she registered her 55th son.

She even won a trip to Japan and Germany from a baby food company.

The Guinness Book of Records in 1983 entered her as the world’s most prolific mother, but removed her a few years later when it became clear that she could not prove her claim.

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