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Eva Gabrielsson refuses Larsson family offer

The Local · 17 Jun 2010, 17:28

Published: 17 Jun 2010 17:28 GMT+02:00

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Gabrielsson said she turned down the 20 million kronor offer and a board seat in the company that manages the Millennium books.

"I have insisted on getting to determine the rights to the works," Gabrielsson told news agency TT Spektra. "I want to determine which agents are used and approve how the works are used and if any changes are made in them."

Larsson died suddenly of a heart attack at age 50 in 2004 before his Millennium trilogy was published. He died without a will and since he and his partner of 32 years were not married and had no children, his estate went to his father and brother, in accordance with Swedish law.

That included royalties from the books and the sale of film rights to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "The Girl Who Played with Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest."

The books have sold millions of copies worldwide.

As the couple were not married and Larsson had not left a will, Gabrielsson is not legally entitled to inherit anything from her late partner. Swedish public opinion has been sympathetic towards the woman seen as Larsson's widow.

Gabrielsson and Larsson's family have been negotiating over the rights to Larsson's work since shortly after his death. Larsson's brother and father, Joakim and Erland Larsson, the legal heirs to the estate, said on Tuesday that talks had ended because Gabrielsson had not accepted their "customised" offer.

In the autumn, the pair offered Gabrielsson a 20 million kronor ($2.57 million) settlement. According to often quoted estimates, revenues from the books and films amount to more than 200 million kronor.

Gabrielsson had previously given up the battle for the blockbuster Millennium books, but stood firm over control of Larsson's other works.

Although Gabrielsson was offered "full transparency and participation rights" over the Millennium books and other Larsson works, she refused the deal.

"The answer was no, without explanation," Joakim Larsson said.

The inheritance dispute has received considerable coverage worldwide. According to US trade magazine Variety, Sony Pictures Entertainment hesitated signing a contract with the heirs because of the Gabrielsson dispute.

A movie contract was successfully reached last winter. Gabrielsson suggests it may be because the Larssons had terminated their proceedings with her, which Joakim Larsson denies.

"It has nothing to do with it," he said.

Story continues below…

Currently, the company Moggliden manages Larsson's literary estate. Gabrielsson calls the post she would have received in the company of a "minority position," a label Joakim Larsson refused to acknowledge.

"She would have a voice, just like me and dad," he said. "The two could, for example, be able to vote together against me, just like a board anywhere."

Joakim Larsson refused to comment on Gabrielsson's new move.

"I'm finished with everything that has to do with Eva. I do not want to get involved with the bickering," he said.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:54 June 17, 2010 by voiceofreason
The benefit of a legally certified marriage is that you share any profits and the downside is that you share the losses too.

Not committing yourself by signing the dotted lines means that you have no legal share in the profit or loss of the other partner. It is plain common-sense.
21:10 June 17, 2010 by cogito
Ladies of Sweden,

When will you wake up and realize that if you agree to be a sambo, you're getting screwed.
22:58 June 17, 2010 by Soft Boiled
Hot Jimmerny there is still life in this old story yet,. keep that whip cracking
02:05 June 18, 2010 by GLO
Sorry EVA, Kept Women only get it in the end...
06:56 June 18, 2010 by sweco1
The Women that wants it all.

Give her nothing.

She has the memories if she cares
08:59 June 18, 2010 by planethero
Its all country dependent.

In the UK she is his common law wife and would get 100%.

Still its Sweden not the UK.

All countries have their idiosyncracies.

I dont blame her for being pissed off.
09:32 June 18, 2010 by jamtlandtom
I suspect that during her relationship with Stig, Eva had some influence on his work and should benefit from this. Unfortunately the Father and son who probably had no input are happily sheltering behind the Law. Greed springs to mind.

Justice which is the Law administered with common sense should prevail and Eva should get a better deal.
10:12 June 18, 2010 by Plowbridge

In UK a common law wife gets nothing either. Like many countries the opposite is a misconception.

As for Eva, she is a greedy old cow who wants it all.
13:40 June 18, 2010 by mysticbumwipe
I sympathise with Eva. If anybody is being greedy I think it is the allegedly estranged father and brother who apparently had no or very little contact with Steig.

The Swedish application of the law in this case seems to me to contradict common-sense feelings of fair-play and justice. But that I feel is the Swedish way, follow the rules even if they fly out the window.
14:33 June 18, 2010 by ehwhat?
The divorce rate in Sweden is the highest in the world. The average length of a marriage in the EU is 24 years. She was his partner for 32. Golly, that piece of paper must be the end all of everything, mustn't it? The blatant hypocrisy of civilized Sweden is showing yet again.

The Father and Brother had *bleep* all to do with it. The partner was there for all the creative support, care and nurture. Reverse the situation. Let the Father and Brother share the 20 million Kronor. They barely deserve that. Award the rest to the person who was actually involved and mattered in the author's life.

They are very lucky they aren't in some other countries. They would already have lost and the partner would be moving on.
16:40 June 18, 2010 by engagebrain
The family have become, through no action of their own, wealthy beyond any possible need.

They should have the decency to respect the wishes of the deceased and give his partner a substantial financial share and literary control - she knows more than anyone what Stieg Larsson intended.
18:51 June 18, 2010 by Flygger
I reckon Eva should offer the family the same deal.

The sheer unadultared greed on evidence rather stains Stieg's memory.

Probably not how things should go.
00:09 June 27, 2010 by In NYC
I don't think anyone is in a position to judge either Larsson's relationship with his family or with Eva. But, having said that, why should his father and brother inherit his estate? Simply because they're blood relatives? That's as medieval a reason as any other.

It's a shame he didn't leave a legal will, and that is a lesson to us all. Nobody expects to die at the age of 50. But I can certainly understand why they didn't marry, considering the threats he recieved, and if you read the books, apparently Sweden is a hotbed of misogyny. I feel for Eva. There is certainly enough money to go around, and if his father and brother were decent people, they'd share more of it with her. But, again, if you read the books, he didn't exactly have a favorable view of families, either.
10:12 January 14, 2011 by landofthesheeple
Win or Lose money. If she had been married this man there would be no question.

She made a peraonal choice and lost, deal with it already.
20:58 January 16, 2011 by kcussmilsum
Stupid move on her part, now she'll get zip.

If she'd have married the man, there'd be no question of rights and money!
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