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Heirs bid to end Stieg Larsson inheritance row

TT/AFP/The Local · 2 Nov 2009, 08:41

Published: 02 Nov 2009 08:41 GMT+01:00

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In an interview with the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper, Larsson’s father and brother say they simply want to put the matter behind them and move on.

The "Millennium" trilogy has become a phenomenon in Sweden and abroad, translated into more than 30 languages and made into a movie. According to the newspaper’s calculations, Larsson’s "Millennium"-trilogy books have so far earned about 130 million kronor.

Its popularity is a striking contrast to their author's tragic fate.

Larsson, who worked as a journalist in Stockholm before writing the trilogy, did not live to enjoy the sensational success; he died in November 2004 of a heart attack, aged 50, a year before the first book of the series was published.

Following Larsson’s death, all of his assets went to his father and brother, leaving his long-time partner Eva Gabrielsson with no claim to any of the author’s ever-expanding inheritance.

A heated media debate followed, filled with accusations about who was the rightful heir to Larsson’s works and assets.

Father Erland and brother Joakim Larsson told SvD they are tired of being portrayed as the “bad guys” in the story and that they have always sought to reach an agreement.

But after five years, they say they still have not had any contact with Gabrielsson.

“We have wanted all along to reach an agreement with her. But she has refused to talk to us all these years,” Erland Larsson told the newspaper.

“We don’t have the energy to wait another five years. We have to move on,” added Joakim Larsson.

A legal battle would also likely be drawn out and costly and now the family has decided to make an offer.

Legally speaking, Larsson’s father and brother are the only two heirs because Larsson and Gabrielsson were neither married nor had drawn up a will giving them any claim to one another’s assets.

At the same time, Gabrielsson has said that Larsson called the book’s manuscript their pension when he handed it over to the Norstedt publishing house.

Gabrielsson and Larsson lived together for 30 years. According to her, one reason they never married was that Larsson wanted to protect her from potential reprisals from his efforts to survey Swedish Nazism, both in his Expo newspaper and other books.

“She was a part of Stieg's life. She should live comfortably. We can give her 20 million kronor ... No strings attached. But she has to call and accept the offer,” Larsson’s brother said of the offer.

Story continues below…

The "Millennium"-trilogy has sold more than 20 million copies in Europe, including 3.5 million in Sweden.

The books depict a dark and violent Sweden brimming with state and family secrets, and follow the lives of Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative reporter, and Lisbeth Salander, a feisty rebel hacker-turned-detective.

Last year Larsson was one of the best-selling authors in the world, according to SvD.

In addition, Swedish moviegoers have filled the country’s cinemas to watch the film adaptations of Larsson’s books, with Hollywood studies also pressing for permission to make their own version.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:36 November 2, 2009 by izbz
3 of the most fantastic books I've read, maybe Gabrialsson should take the money and since she had been staying with Stieg, she knows how he think better than anyone else....should continue writing the story of Lisbert Salander...Sure gonna be a hit.

Best of everything to you,EVA
16:53 November 2, 2009 by peropaco
She should get 1M for each year she lived with him and also a % from the movie deals, etc.
21:07 November 2, 2009 by thelionking
Just wondering how they arrived at 20million Kr...Property rights to the work will be substantial as the books/films could earn indefinitely into the future...?

Are there kids involved in the 30yr relationship??
21:08 November 2, 2009 by insect
30 years is a long time for anyone to question her committment to that relationship. She deserves something.

Peropaco: that seems fair enough

just waiting for the namecalling to start. specifically the G word (this site kills me sometimes)
21:26 November 2, 2009 by PrinceKnight
I don't even have to read this story, before I am already wondering, when will settle my inheritance row in this country!!??
12:07 November 3, 2009 by Taxlady
The legality of it states that if Stieg wrote the books while they were together (30 years) she should get 100%. And the apartment should go to her.

Just shows how dumb the SAMBO thing is.
17:52 November 3, 2009 by mastersamuel
Inte alls. It shows how smart the 'SAMBO' thing is. eller hur?
13:15 November 4, 2009 by Beynch
I too admit the books are great. I also notice that they carry a subliminal liberal/leftist, political, message. Lisbeth's lose sexual mores are less than admirable. She jumped into bed with one and all. She demonstrated lesbian tendencies. Her cuerpo was decorated with tatoos and piercings that only an AFA member and other riff-raff, could compete with. She, and many of the carachters, smoke cigarettes. In fact the books promote cigarette smoking. Did Larsson get a contribution from the tobacco lobby? The Social Democrats are elevated at every turn, and anyone who is not a Social Democrat is a Nazi! Seeing though this, the books are nevertheless a masterpiece of intrigue and suspense. I wish there were more coming. They have recently been released in the U.S.
17:00 November 4, 2009 by Tutu
it should be the woman offering them money and not the other way round. living with someone for 30 years is no joke. I can believe that this is happening in my sweden. It is either they share the money 50-50 or even the woman get 60%. the woman should not accept anything less than 50% of everything Stieg owns
01:18 November 6, 2009 by mieoux
He should have written a better will. At any rate marriage is the best way to go and not this sambo nonsense. In this case it's just money so it's no big deal, but if either his or her legal rights were challenged in a life or death health situation it would have sucked royally for them. Sambo is for people who are not ready to commit and feel they might be able to find someone better down the road, in which case they should stop wasting each other's time, break up and find someone else. Idiots! If you are sambo you deserve whatever consequences come with that arrangement.
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