If you scan the news on the Internet like I do, you might have seen the name “Mirthala Salinas” come up. I saw the name, but had no idea who she was, or what made her significant. So I dug deeper. Turns out, Mirthala Salinas is a television anchor for the American television network, Telemundo. Telemundo was founded in San Juan, Puerto Rico by Angel Ramos in the year 1954, but is now US based in Hialeah, FL.. It is known to be the second-largest Spanish language network in the US, right behind Univision. It is said to reach 93 percent of U.S. Hispanic households in 142 markets via over-the-air, cable and satellite TV.
Telemundo is also the only Spanish-language television network that produces telenovelas in the United States at the current time. Many of its programs air with closed captions in both Spanish and English. Its owner, Telemundo Communications Group, is affiliated with the NBC Universal division of General Electric.
Mirthala Salinas, however, made her mark in current days because the news of her affair with Los Angeles mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa has come to light. In a statement issued Tuesday, Villaraigosa admitted to his affair, or “relationship”, as he calls it, with the television anchor.
“It is true that I have a relationship with Ms. Mirthala Salinas,” Villaraigosa said in a statement published in the Los Angeles Daily News. “As I’ve said I take full responsibility for my actions, and I once again ask that people respect my family’s privacy. For my part, I intend to stay focused on my job, and to work as hard as I can every day to be the best mayor I can be.”
It has been reported that the mayor was a visitor at the townhouse of Mirthala Salinas — bottle of wine in hand — four months after he took office in 2005. Photographer Robert Durrell published photos of Villaraigosa and Salinas together in Sacramento at about the same time. Reports also mention trips where Salinas went along and covered the mayor. There are also news snippets on how Villaraigosa helped Salinas last year when her mother was sick with cancer at Cedars-Sinai. Villaraigosa attended the funeral when Salinas’ mother passed away. Salinas has this to say:
“I first got to know the mayor at a professional level where we went on to become friends,” she said. “The current relationship grew out of our existing friendship.”
Salinas said that while she and the mayor “are both public figures, I hope that everyone can understand and respect my desire to maintain my privacy when it comes to personal relationships.”
Reporter Eric Longabardi of ERS News.com has evidence that before Mirthala Salinas became involved with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, she was the girlfriend of his close friend and ally, Speaker Fabian Núñez. Quoting Longabardi:
“Assembly Speaker, Fabio Nunez, one of Villaraigosa’s best friends, also had a relationship with Salinas from the summer of 2003 until after his swearing in as Assembly Speaker in February 2004. The Speaker’s office confirmed to ERSNews.com that while the Speaker was divorced from his wife Maria (they have since remarried), Nunez and Salinas had a romantic relationship. Salinas attended Nunez’s swearing in as Speaker of the Assembly. Sources also tell ERSNews.com that Salinas would regularly fly to Sacramento to see the Speaker. One insider at Telemundo said that ‘everybody in the newsroom knew all about it and management did nothing about it.'”
Villaraigosa and his wife Corina, stopped making public appearances together last January. When asked why he no longer wore his wedding ring, at that time the mayor laughed and said he had simply been working out and losing weight, and the ring was at the jeweler’s getting resized. Villagaigosa has since admitted that he and his wife are separated and are seeking a divorce. Salinas moved off the political beat about 11 months ago.