Christina Maria Ruiz is a Guatemalan woman who worked as a housekeeper and maid for the American actor, filmmaker, and activist, Marlon Brando, and for a considerable period, was his lover. Known for his tumultuous personal life, Brando married three times, had numerous relationships, and fathered at least 11 children. He and Ruiz began their relationship in 1988 and had three children together. They parted ways 14 years later. Despite Brando buying her a $400,000 home and a Mercedes car, Ruiz went on to file a $100 million palimony lawsuit against him in 2002. A year later, the case was settled. Brando passed away in 2004 and since then, Ruiz has retreated from the spotlight.
Little to no information is available on Ruiz’s family or childhood. She was born in Guatemala and at some point in her life, relocated to the United States of America.
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Relationship with Marlon Brando
A native of Nebraska, Brando was a gifted mimic as a child and would often imitate the mannerisms of his playmates. His mother was an actress and had served as a theatre administrator. As a result, he had been exposed to acting since he was very young. He later relocated to New York City and studied theatre. In 1950, he made his screen debut with Fred Zinnemann’s directorial venture, ‘The Men’. In the ensuing years, his body of work would encompass all three modes of performing art: stage, films, and television. Over the course of his six-decade-long career, he would establish himself as one of the most iconic and influential actors of all time. He received numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards for Best Actor for ‘On the Waterfront’ (1954), and ‘The Godfather’ (1972).
Parallel to his legendary acting career, Brando’s personal life attracted much media and public attention for being complicated and extraordinary. In his autobiography, ‘Songs My Mother Taught Me’, Brando wrote about his relationship with Marilyn Monroe, who apparently said to him after lovemaking, “I don't know if I do it right." In the 1950s, he dated Japanese-American actress and dancer Reiko Sato. Although they ultimately parted ways, they would remain friends until Sato’s death. He was also in an on-again, off-again relationship with Puerto Rican actress Rita Moreno that lasted about eight years.
Brando’s first wife was the Indian-Welsh-American actress Anna Kashfi, with whom he had one son, Christian Devi Brando. The marriage ultimately ended in a divorce in 1959. Among the actresses who Brando had an affair with were Pier Angeli, Shelley Winters, Nancy Qwan and Katy Jurado. He married his second wife, Mexican-American actress Movita Castaneda, in 1960 and had two children with her: Miko Castaneda Brando and Rebecca Brando. This marriage also ended in a divorce, which was finalised in 1962. Tahitian actress Tarita Teriipaia was his third wife. They married in 1962. Eighteen years Brando’s junior, Teriipaia was a native French speaker, which prompted Brando to learn the language. They would have two children together: Simon Teihotu Brando and Tarita Cheyenne Brando. Furthermore, he adopted Teriipaia’s daughter Maimiti Brando, as well as her niece, Raiatua Brando. Later, he also adopted Petra Brando-Corval, the daughter of his assistant Caroline Barrett. In 1972, Teriipaia and Brando divorced after ten years of marriage.
Through the 1970s, he was linked with half a dozen women such as Yachio Tsubaki, who was the daughter of a Zen master from Japan. He even told his biographer Gary Carey once, “Like a large number of men, I too have had homosexual experiences and am not ashamed."
Ruiz met Brando sometime in the 1980s and subsequently started working for him as a housekeeper and maid. A relationship eventually developed between the two in 1988 that resulted in the births of their three children: one daughter, Ninna Priscilla Brando (born May 13, 1989), and two sons, Myles Jonathan Brando (January 16, 1992) and Timothy Gahan Brando (January 6, 1994). They parted ways in December 2001 after he refused to continue paying for her living expenses.
In 2002, Ruiz sued Brando alleging that he had told her that he would provide financial support for her and their children even after their separation. According to Ruiz, Brando also promised that his estate would be divided equally between them if the couple separated. Her lawyer stated that their relationship was like a marriage and she even had received a wedding ring from Brando though they never had a legal ceremony. Filed at the Law Angeles Supreme Court, the lawsuit revealed that she was seeking $100 million in damages and a court order that would make Brando pay her a “reasonable sum” per month so she could support herself and the children. The case was eventually settled in 2003. The details of the settlement were never released.
Marlon Brando passed away on July 1, 2004. Ruiz, even during her relationship with Brando, was not a celebrity. Since their settlement, she has chosen to live her life away from the spotlight.