Paola Bracho

Paola Bracho is the main antagonist in the 1998 Mexican soap opera La Usurpadora (a remake of a 1971 Venezuelan telenovela of the same name). She is played by Gabriela Spanic.


Paola and Paulina are twin sisters who were separated at birth. Paulina is a good young woman who lives in poverty. Paola is the evil, arrogant and decadent sister of the two, who is married to a wealthy man named Carlos Daniel Bracho (Fernando Colunga) but is frequently unfaithful to him. When the twins cross paths by chance, Paola blackmails Paulina by framing her for theft and threatening her with jail to force her to take Paola's place in the Bracho home while she takes a year-long overseas vacation with a new lover named Alessandro. Abandoned by her fiancé Osvaldo and following the death of her sick mother, Paulina submits to Paola's plan.

During the year spent living in the Bracho household, Paulina brings stability to the chaos and damage that had been wrought by Paola but is conflicted because she falls in love with Carlos Daniel. Paola eventually returns to take her rightful place after abandoning Alessandro in Monaco following a car accident she caused which paralyzes him, but not without the truth being discovered by the family. Returning to her old ways, Paola inflicts even more damage on the family and on Paulina upon her return by pretending to be paralyzed from her Monaco car crash to fool the family and getting Paulina unjustly sent to prison, but the truth is eventually exposed when a letter written by Paulina's mother is uncovered, revealing that Paulina and Paola are sisters, then Paola's paralysis ruse is discovered by her family.

A vindictive Paola attempts to get revenge against Paulina after the latter is freed from prison and cleared of all charges, and in collusion with old lover Willy (the husband of Carlos Daniel's sister Estefania), she threatens her nurse Elvira with death for exposing the truth about Paola to the family, but during a struggle over the steering wheel while out driving, Paola and Elvira get in a car accident. Elvira dies in the accident itself, and a hospitalized Paola finally confesses to her crimes (the confession of which also gets Willy sent to prison for his part in them) and makes amends with Paulina shortly before she dies of her injuries. This liberates Paulina and allows her to finally marry Carlos Daniel. The two live happily ever after and the Bracho family is finally in peace.