Benvenuti said the composer had an affair with his maid's cousin, Giulia Manfredi, who gave birth to a son, Antonio, in 1923. She refused to name the father; Puccini died in 1924.
The "family letters" indicating Puccini fathered the child were found in a trunk at the Pisa home of Antonio Manfredi's daughter, Nadia, now 61.
Puccini actually had an affair with said maid, Doria Manfredi. Suspecting this, his wife Elvira harassed her so much that she committed suicide in 1909 at age 23.
After an autopsy proved Doria to be a virgin, her family sued Elvira for gross defamation of character. Though Elvira dodged jail time through a settlement, the scandal caused a nine-month lull in her husband's composition of La fanciulla del West.