Minas Gerais, Brazil: A black woman has opened up about how she was allegedly kept as a slave by a rich family for 38 years.

When she was 8 years of age, Madalena Gordiano supposedly knocked on the door of the home of Maria das Graças Milagres Rigueira’s begging for some food. The family was quite wealthy and had all that was needed to provide for Madalena.

So when Maria, who is a school teacher, offered Madalena to adopt her, Madalena’s mother immediately agreed because she had 8 other kids to feed, including her twin sister, Filomena. But, according to reports, Madalena was not treated well.

Madalena’s new family allegedly never sent her to school and didn’t even adopt her as a daughter, according to EL Pais.

And for the following 38 years, she is said to have worked for the family free of charge and that included all kinds of housework.

Madalena was apparently never paid for her work and was also never given any days off. And by the time she became a free person, she was already 46 years of age.

Madalena Gordiano. Image credit: ‘Fantástico’

In an interview with Fantástico, Madalena said:

“I went to ask for bread because I was hungry, but she told me she wouldn’t give me any if I didn’t come and live with her.”

The family is also said to have exploited Madalena for financial gains, marrying her off to an older relative when she was still young.

The 78-year-old man had a pension from the military the equivalent of about $1600 per month and Madalena, who did not even live with him, inherited his pension after he passed away.

But Madalena was stripped of the money as it was taken from her by the Rigueara family. Reportedly, the pension was used to cover the costs of their daughter’s university degree.

Maria das Graças Milagres Rigueira. Image ‘Fantástico’

At one point during her time as a servant, Madalena was given to Riguera’s son, veterinary professor Dalton Milagres Rigueira.

Professor Rigueira blames his mother for Madalena’s fate. Since the story blew up, he has been fired from his position at the university where he worked as a teacher.

Professor Rigueira

According to the family’s attorney, the disclosure of the prosecutor’s case is ‘premature and irresponsible’ because there has not yet been a conviction. He urges ‘cautious reflection,’ El Pais reported.

Madalena has now been given back the monthly pension, and experts are helping her in any way they can. She is also trying to get reunited with her true family, as per DailyMail.

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