It is the story of a family love triangle which is difficult to comprehend.
Brazilian striker Hulk revealed last week that his partner Camila Sousa – who is his ex-wife’s niece – was pregnant with their first child together.
The Atletico Mineiro star posted the news on his Instagram account, writing: “Today with a heart full of gratitude to God, I come to share with you that for the fourth time I am being blessed with another child.”
It is thought that Hulk, 35, and Camila, 32, have been dating for close to two years, after original reports of their relationship emerged in December 2019.
Hulk’s 12-year marriage with Camila’s aunt, Iran Angelo de Sousa, had ended just a few months prior.
It was in the July that their divorce was officially confirmed, although Hulk claims his relationship with Camila did not come about for over a year after his initial separation from Iran.
“Camila came to China,” he said. “I don’t think I’m an ugly person and I’m young. Camila is young and extremely beautiful. We ended up getting involved. We were single.”
The pair had first met when Camila was just a teenager aged 19 – yet Hulk was only two years her senior at 21, while Iran was 39.
Hulk and Iran went on to have three children together, but he insists he only stayed in the relationship due to her falling pregnant.
“I started dating and in less than a month you got pregnant. Ian, Tiago and Alice with the blessing of God,” he said.
“My marriage didn’t come out of love, out of passion, nothing, it was an accident that you got pregnant with Ian. And I took over.”
Hulk – who once cost Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg €60million – claimed he supported Iran’s family from the moment they knew they were expecting their firstborn.
But he stresses it was not always a happy home.
Hulk admitted he had been unfaithful to Iran during their time together, but is adamant he was not involved with Camila until after their divorce had been finalised.
“I never had a relationship with Camila when I was married,” he said. “I am a man. I was not happy in my marriage.
“I had countless reasons. I spent my entire marriage betraying Iran. She lived a single life. She just wanted to have the status of wife of the Hulk.”
It was after he got together with Camila in China that the striker made their relationship known to family, and he claims it was Iran who reacted by making their news public and sharing it to the media, before criticising them.
He hit back: “I have a clear conscience and peace. If you want to continue cursing me and treating me like a monster, the choice is yours. But criticise on top of the truth.”
Hulk’s representative’s even commented on the situation as they dismissed reports of him cheating with Camila, telling UOL Esporte : “It’s in his position to be transparent, to avoid lies and malicious comments.
“Remember the Brazilian’s marriage ended in July and Camila was also separated for many months.”
Meanwhile, Iran’s relationship with her sister – Camila’s mother – became fractured, though has since begun to repair.
She is yet to speak out on Camila’s pregnancy, but did open up on her niece’s relationship with Hulk previously in September last year.
“I wake up and fall asleep without understanding why all this happened to me,” she wrote on Instagram. “The pain is great, sometimes I think it will rip my heart out, but God comes and helps me. He has been my livelihood.
“I gave everything to this girl since she came into the world. I sacrificed my dreams so many times to make her dreams come true.
“And here I am not talking only about material goods, because these are easy to give when you have money, but love, affection, attention, respect … everything.
“She knew my weaknesses, insecurities, pains, fears, plans, and had my unconditional love. She ran my life, and for me everything she said was good, it was right, it was ethical.
“For me, she was perfect in everything and to her I gave the direction of my life. If I was wrong, my God, it was for loving and trusting too much.”
In the emotional post, Iran also explained how she loved Camila like a daughter and that the whole saga had made her feel like she had to ‘bury’ her existence from her memory.
She also sent a message to her sister, admitting that she knew it was right for her to move on and be in support of Camila.
“Do not want to know this suffering that tears the soul, that takes a piece of us,” Iran added.
“As the mother that I am, I know the time has come for you to join your daughter, and I don’t want you to feel trapped because of me.
“With a broken heart, I won’t lie, I’m ready for you to follow.”