McCain's Brazilian love found after more than 50 years, report says

Other News Materials 21 September 2008 07:14 (UTC +04:00)

A 77-year-old Brazilian former model who was the young love of US Republican presidential candidate John McCain has been found by a newspaper in the South American country, reported dpa.

Maria Garcinda Tedixeira de Jesus met McCain in 1957 while he was in Rio de Janeiro on leave from his Navy ship. At the time, he was still a cadet at the US Naval Academy. He spent every free minute with the Brazilian beauty and describes the encounter in his 1999 memoir Faith of my Fathers.

But the book doesn't mention Garcinda's name and media have been trying to determine her identity.

In an interview with the newspaper Extra, Garcinda described the young McCain as "cuddly, affectionate and romantic" and noted he called her "my coco bonbon."

The pair spent McCain's last night in Brazil together and she drove him back to his ship, McCain wrote in his book. He would later fly to Rio several times to see her, but the relationship did not last long.

Garcinda now lives in Mage about 60 kilometres west of Rio. She was married four times, but has lived alone for the past 10 years.

The woman, known to her neighbours as Cherie, describes herself not only as a former model, "but also a dancer, miss and lover of very important men."

She said she has since lost all her money playing poker.

If McCain wins November 4 elections against Democrat Barack Obama, Garcinda said she will send him a congratulatory telegram, signed from his "your great love from Brazil."