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Has Diego Rivera helped Frida Kahlo die?

12 February 2023

A secret suspicion that persists within the family of her husband and great love, the renowned muralist Diego Rivera, will be revealed in a documentary about the Mexican artist.
An interview with Juan Rafael Coronel Rivera, Rivera's grandson, will be featured in the first episode of the three-part BBC series Becoming Frida Kahlo. In the interview, Rivera's grandson expresses his belief that his grandfather "probably" committed a last act of love to end Kahlo's life. This testimony is meant to put an end to speculation about the artist's "mysterious" last hours, but it will also rekindle the passions of her millions of fans.

Coronel Rivera, a Mexican art journalist and photographer who is a descendant of Rivera and his first wife, will say that Rivera "helped her" and that he does not "feel like something is wrong." He argues in the BBC2 documentary's concluding section: If the person you live with says, "I'm tired, I really want to go now, help me," you might try.

I agree one 100% with Juan,” said the Kahlo expert Luis-Martin Lozano, speaking from Mexico this weekend. “Frida’s family always had this idea that she could have been alive for some years. It is sad to say, but suicide was always also a possibility. Kahlo wrote about it in her diary, but her love for Diego prevented her. She did not want to leave him. But the issue must have come up between them.

"Kahlo’s family have also talked about the possibility that he helped her die. Her niece said a little about this, although it may be taboo in Rivera’s family.

Read the full story in The Guardian article