The first, fairly obviously, was Perotto. Cesare apparently found out that Perotto had slept with Lucrezia and attempted to stab him while Perotto was kneeling in front of the Pope. Blood splashed on the papal steps.
Was this a filial action or the jealous rage of a lover? I am an only child. I seriously don’t know. If a papal attendant slept with you, would your brother try to kill him? Discuss!
Two papal bulls were issued on the subject of Giovanni’s parentage. The first claimed that his father was Cesare Borgia. The second claimed that the father was Alexander himself. Both claimed that he was fathered by an unknown woman.
Now, there are, again, two ways of thinking about this. It’s possible that her family wanted to cover up Lucrezia’s indiscretions and decided to take responsibility for the child themselves. That’s nice, but then why did they do it twice? Why was simply saying it was Cesare’s not enough? That would have allowed Lucrezia to easily visit him as an aunt.
The second interpretation – and one widely circulated – was that Lucrezia had slept with both her father and brother and was unsure who the child belonged to.