Pedro Pascal is one of the biggest actors in both film and television right now. From starring in blockbusters like Wonder Woman 1984 to hit shows like The Mandalorian and The Last of Us, the actor is everywhere these days. His life might seem charmed, but Pascal’s family life has been marred by tragedies.
Pascal was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1975 to Verónica Pascal Ureta, a child psychologist, and José Balmaceda Riera, a fertility doctor. The family fled the country shortly after his birth due to their political affiliations. They sought asylum in Denmark before finally settling in the United States.
In 1993, Pascal moved to New York City and enrolled at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Two years later, his family was rocked by a scandal involving his father and the fertility clinic he ran alongside two other doctors.
Pascal’s Father Fled The Country
Dr. Balmaceda was world-famous for his innovative fertility treatments, but in 1995, he and his partners were accused of stealing patients’ eggs and embryos and implanting them in other women without their knowledge or consent.
Around 40 former patients filed lawsuits against Balmaceda and his partner, and some even filed lawsuits against other patients, seeking custody of children they claim are biologically theirs.
Balmaceda, his wife, and the family’s two youngest children went back to Chile—allegedly to avoid the criminal charges and lawsuits. He was labeled a fugitive and indicted on twenty counts of mail fraud for insurance billing. Pascal and his sister stayed in New York and the actor maintains that his father did nothing wrong.
Unfortunately, this was not the end of the family’s troubles. In 1999, Pascal’s mother committed suicide. Pascal took her surname as his professional moniker to honor her memory. In 2001, Balmaceda was arrested at the Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and held for extradition to the United States.
Pascal’s father was released and told not to leave Argentina but returned to Chile before his court hearing. Balmaceda claimed he would not be able to find justice under Argentinian law. Today, he serves as the director of the Latin American Assisted Reproduction Network, overseeing clinics in Chile, Peru, and Bolivia. He maintains that he is innocent of all charges.
Pascal remains close with his father—Balmaceda shared the family has a WhatsApp group chat—but does not typically speak about his parents publicly. Many of Pascal’s biggest fans have no clue about the tragedies that impacted his family while he was still a young man.