BAD news for boastful lotharios this week, as a court declares Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias the father of a man who has been fighting for recognition for decades.

The ruling is the latest twist in a long-running legal saga that began in 1991, when Iglesias first denied paternity and refused to provide a DNA sample.

He refused again in 1992, 2004 and indeed 2018, but this hasn’t prevented a judge from concluding that former ballet dancer Maria Edite Santos is telling the truth.

She says her 43-year-old son Javier Sanchez was the product of a week-long affair in 1976, when Iglesias was riding high in the charts with his album America. By his standards, this would have constituted a committed, long-term relationship.

He once famously claimed to have slept with 3000 women in the space of a decade, although in recent years his manager has poured cold water over that suggestion, saying there were fewer than half that number of names in the singer’s little black book. What an amateur.

It has to be said, the evidence in this case does not seem water-tight, especially given that Spain’s Supreme Court has previously overturned a similar ruling on the grounds that refusal to submit DNA should not be taken as proof of having something to hide.

Edite has provided evidence of the relationship, leading the judge to say “the possibility that sexual relations took place between them is not unlikely nor preposterous”. Ah, romance. Hallmark will doubtless already be busy printing its new line of “sexual relations between us would not be preposterous” cards.

She has also provided a detailed description of the chalet in which she claims to have enjoyed trysts with the baladeer, and physical evidence in the form of her son’s face, which the judge says demonstrates “sufficiently clear” similarities with the best-selling Latin artist in history.

Certainly Javier has two eyes, a nose, a mouth and dark hair, but by that standard should Boris Johnson be worried about a paternity claim from Miss Piggy? In the event that he marches into Downing Street, will he be requiring his security detail to set up a 10-metre exclusion zone in case any mop-headed little terrors try to ambush him for a cheek swab?

He would perhaps try to argue that any alleged former flames were “completely bonkers” so as to avoid having to answer any direct questions about his personal conduct, but might they try to counter this with detailed descriptions of the wood panelling at Villa Irene, his family’s luxury bolthole in Greece? Pass the brain-bleach, please.

There are a couple of problems with boasting that you’ve slept with 3000 women – or, as Iglesias later described it, neglecting to correct media reports to that effect.

First, it makes you seem like a hollow husk of a human being who views sexual intimacy as little more than a spreadsheet of conquests.

Second, it tends to led credibility to the suggestion you might have a few more children than you’re willing to admit to. Perhaps our man in Marbella should have thought about this before kissing and telling to the whole world, or indeed scribbling names in a grubby wee book.

If we take Iglesias’s magic number (for life, not just a decade) to be 1500, and assume a single instance of sweet, sweet love-making for each bedpost notch, a very conservative estimate would suggest the release of some 300 billion sperm. And not just any sperm. If the reports are to believed (let’s face it, they probably aren’t), his dad fathered his last child at the ripe old age of 90.

That’s a lot of potential mini Julios or Julias, each of whom might be expected to make an inheritance claim given the the ejaculator in question owns half of the Dominican Republic and has a net worth estimated at $300 million.

Javier Sanchez will not be counting his chickens just yet in that regard, as Iglesias has 20 days to appeal the latest ruling. His refusal to submit to a DNA test has once again formed part of the case.

Now aged 75 and with the sales of 23 million records under his belt, the man who sang To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before is probably not worrying too much about the reputational damage caused by his distinctly ungentlemanly behaviour.

But how times have changed. It’s hard to imagine a pop icon in today’s world boasting about his sex life in the same fashion and being met with anything other than derision, disdain or perhaps pity.

Female journalists for the Mirror and Express may still be writing breathless features about the supposed charms of the septuagenarian Iglesias (sample quote: “I don’t need a mirror to know that I’m blushing … and thank goodness I’m sitting down, because my knees suddenly feel a bit weak”) and he now insists the headlines about his womanising ways gave the wrong impression (“I don’t have numbers. I respect women very much. I learn from women, I adore women”), but the words ring a little hollow when set alongside his refusal to settle once and for all a paternity battle that’s been going on for much longer than any of his marriages.

Javier Sanchez might never know for certain. But one thing’s been established beyond reasonable doubt: his purported dad can talk the talk, but that’s about it.