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Stieg Larsson's brother hits back at book claims

Vivian Tse · 26 Jan 2011, 16:57

Published: 26 Jan 2011 16:57 GMT+01:00

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Joakim Larsson, who along with his father Erland control the estate of his older brother, has gone public with the website Moggliden, the Umeå-based company that manages the author's rights.

On Tuesday, he wrote a statement in Swedish and English disputing a number of points Stieg Larsson's partner Eva Gabrielsson has made in her new 160-page memoir "Millennium, Stieg and I" (Millennium, Stieg och jag) published in mid-January in Sweden, Norway and France.

"Ever since Stieg died in November 2004, I have had one thought foremost in my mind: to manage Stieg's legacy in keeping with his spirit. For some time now, Eva Gabrielsson has spread a distorted picture of Stieg Larsson," Joakim Larsson wrote on the website on Wednesday.

"I am extremely proud of my brother and have no interest in prolonging what has been described as a 'conflict.' But now that so many falsehoods and misleading statements have been repeated in book form, I would like to present my picture in greater detail," he added.

Among the claims that Joakim Larsson makes is that aside from the literary rights, all of his brother's possessions at the time of his death have gone to Gabrielsson.

In addition, the Larssons have "actively prevented attempts at" contributing to a "Stieg Larsson industry" aside from the books and films.

Joakim Larsson also emphasised that he and his father have ensured that all revenues have gone to the anti-racist activities of Expo, the foundation and magazine that his brother helped establish, as well as women's shelters and protection for threatened journalists.

"We have no intention to use the money in any other way than as Stieg intended," Joakim Larsson wrote.

He added that he and his father cannot ignore Swedish laws regarding inheritance and moral rights.

"We are Stieg's legal heirs because he was unmarried and left no will. We are sorry there was no valid will since the public discussion is debilitating and takes energy from the important work," Joakim Larsson wrote.

In addition to making sure that Gabrielsson received the apartment they lived in and all the financial assets his brother had when he died, he reiterated that he and his father have "always wanted" Gabrielsson to exercise influence over the management of the texts, but that they wanted to do so jointly.

Story continues below…

Jaokim Larsson dismissed allegations that his brother was estranged from his family members, pointing out that he had a close relationship with his niece and that in a letter he left behind that called his "will," he wrote that he loved his brother and his parents.

He also mentioned that Stieg Larsson wanted revenue from the fourth book in the Millennium series to go to Expo, but the manuscript remains missing.

In an appendix, Joakim Larsson contested 26 different passages in Gabrielsson's new book. In addition, Joakim Larsson noted that Millennium heroine Lisbeth Salander was loosely based on his own daughter.

He singled out the similarities between his daughter and Salander in body weight, clothing and an interest in kickboxing, but has referred "Pippi Longstocking as an adult" as a prototype for Salander in previous interviews.

Vivian Tse (vivian.tse@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:53 January 26, 2011 by GLO
Every family have disputes. Die without a will, well tough sh$t.

The legal system is designed to settle these issues. So, looks to me like everyone got a peice of the pie.

Life goes on....
20:50 January 26, 2011 by McChatter
Does this guy ever think about anything else than money?
20:54 January 26, 2011 by alisonashley
I think that if a man or woman live together and support the household; help pay bills, food, electric, etc., and if they have lived together for a reasonable time and have a commitment, then one should be entitled to half. I understand that this woman has given much of her life to that man plus her creativity. It is time for Sweden to re-write some old fashion laws. I understand from what I read in another newspaper the brothers did not just give the apartment to her - she has been fighting for her life to live there. I think it is time for Sweden's laws to fit in with their "sambo" culture. Laws are to be a guide towards ethics; the right thing to do. I do not believe Sweden's law in this case is just.
21:39 January 26, 2011 by planethero
well said alison.

these blokes are sad money grabbers.
22:12 January 26, 2011 by dizzymoe33
Here in the States if you are with a person after 5 years than you are considered "Common Law" wife/husband. Then you are also entitled to some rights as if you were legally married.
00:13 January 27, 2011 by Zala Russe
It is truly a great shame, and a non-fitting epitaph for Stieg that this feud drags on so publicly. Apparently his true legacy, his 'genius' is to be buried under an avalanche of claim and counter-claim. Readers need to be aware of the man, the issues, where they fit in and perhaps arrive at their own conclusions. May I recommend: 'THE MAN WHO LEFT TOO SOON: The Biography of Stieg Larsson' by Barry Forshaw. For which I have completed a book review on this site:

01:23 January 27, 2011 by Judge Waurynchuk
If you are to believe poor Joakim in his defence of the Greed-Gene that possesses him and his father Erland, I have a bridge to sell you! Joakim says look how generous he and his father are. They let Eva stay in the apartment that Stieg and Eva owned but registered in only Stieg's name. And, further, how easy it is to say the Government Inheritance laws make us take Eva and Stieg's money because they weren't married and there was no will. Believe that and I have another bridge to sell you. Erland and Joakim could just as easily say: Stieg and Eva were not married, there is no will, the Law directs that we take Stieg's inheritance, but morally we know this must include Eva and so we share with her equally Stieg's estate. It is often so easy to see what is right and to see what is wrong. Joakim and Erland know they are wrong and so they say they support Stieg's causes (while cutting out Eva who was a 30 year cause Stieg lived with and protected as best he could in his mind) to make them look so kind and generous. Don't forget Joakim saying that Eva must now marry Stieg's father Erland to get a share of the inheritance and, further, that he and his father have balls but Eva does not. Nice, Really Nice. No wonder Stieg wanted not to have dealings with Joakim and Erland. Believe Joakim and I have a space ship to throw in if you buy a bridge.
03:27 January 27, 2011 by Sweetdishgurl
Joakim Larsson is a lying sack of sh*t. Who are you going to listen to, Stieg's common law wife of 32 years or a younger brother he rarely talked to. People turn ugly when money is involved. Also, Sweden has sh*t laws when it comes to living "sambo"/common law and inheritance laws. Sweden has more sambo couples than married couples and I think it should be recognized-especially after 32 years. Ultimately Stieg should have written a will long ago considering he is an author and started EXPO but since he did not his life partner will have to suffer the consequences as well as his legacy. Joakim and his father are not the right people to be speaking on behalf of Stieg or doing so called "what Stieg wanted to do with the money". I believe Stieg would want Eva to be in charge, we will never know for sure. Death and large sums of money equal disaster almost always. It sounds to me like Joakim keeps making excuses when the obvious is right in front of us all- he should be ashamed.
04:01 January 27, 2011 by engagebrain
The family greedy could of course simply pass on all of Stieg's property to his longterm partner.

Do they think Stieg really wanted them to mess his widow around ?
05:33 January 27, 2011 by duogrn
What a shame!

32 out his 50 years, Stieg Larsson spent and grew together with Eva Gabrielsson.

Yet in the Swedish court, she has no say on his brainchild nor on what it might entail. Law or not, it's morally wrong to me and even more so to Lisbeth Salander. How ironic this brother of his even tried to link closer to Lisbeth Salander's creation & origin, yet loosing all the spirit & values she ever stands for.

FWIW, Stieg Larsson was raised and influenced largely by his grandparents during his formative years.
09:28 January 27, 2011 by calebian22

Her creativity? Is she a co-author? No. Claims made after Steig's death regarding her contributions by her no less, are worthless. The law is the law. No ring, no will=no cash. Too bad, so sad.
09:57 January 27, 2011 by alisonashley

It was written that Gabrielsson HELPED with creativity. Remember, we are all basing our judgment on what we have read. The LAW in the Middle East puts a woman's relationship low on the totem pole too. The law cannot be right for every situation; for every situation is different. The law is a guide to be used properly by a judge. A judge, may in fact and has the power to, decide in favor for Gabrielsson; even in Sweden. Let's think about the symbolism of the ring. The ring is a symbol for eternity and came about through religion and stemmed its way into politics and can be used for a tax break. The ring/circle; eternal relationship between God and people -likened to the relationship between a man and a women. Generally, Swedish people get married as tradition - not as an eternal commitment to one another with God in the center. From what I have read Gabrielsson and her partner had more of a commitment than 100% of the divorces that take place in Sweden. =) It is really important to remember to be as humble as possible; for we all can end up in a situation like Gabrielsson.
15:17 January 27, 2011 by Swedesmith
My wife certainly fuels my creativity. You should see all the creative means I must employ to get her in the sack!
15:24 January 27, 2011 by calebian22
I am going by the facts. Her name is not on the books, so not an author. Giving a shoulder massage to Stieg is also helping, but that is not being an author.

As for the Middle East and how women are treated, relevance? This situation is not about gender. Nor is it about God and eternity. It is about poor estate planning. The law is clear in Sweden. (I beg to differ that every situation is different and must be treated differently) No marriage, no will, the inheritance goes to the immediate family. Fine they didn't believe in marriage, and were more committed to each other than every married person out there, but a will is secular. Takes almost no time to get one drawn up.

The only reason this is even news is because of the amounts involved. Is that what you mean by different interpretations of the law? More money, more important? This would go no where if this was a plumber's sambo fighing over a fritidshus with the plumber's brother. The law would be clear.
21:22 January 27, 2011 by BobWas
As I understand it, they didn't even need to be married -- they could have simply registered their relationship with the civil authorities and then Eva would have inherited. Without that, the law treats them as flat-mates, not a couple.

I read that they didn't do that because their address would have been published and they would have been in danger because of his work at Expo. But that doesn't make any sense to me -- he/they (not sure which) owned the apartment, so the address would already be public. And anyone after either one of them could surely have just ambushed them on their way out of their places of work, or at their speaking engagements. By his own account, Stieg was moving around freely.

In response to alison at #12, the stuff that was written about Eva helping with creativity/writing was quoting Eva. It's Eva saying that Eva helped. I haven't seen anything in which Stieg credits Eva with creativity/writing -- even in his last email to his brother that we're all reading today, Stieg takes sole credit for everything. It's "his book" "his money" "his film rights" -- no mention of Eva helping him with the novels.
21:55 January 27, 2011 by alisonashley

Thank you for the positive critic. I missed the fact that EG was the one to say that she helped. The information concerning couples registering so that they can inherit is good information too.


Concerning Middle Eastern law - I was making a comparable point that women in Sweden are entitled to recognition, equal responsibility, and independence. I understand your point about the law, however, it is still my belief to take care of loved one's left behind.

Did I read correctly that she has a secret book written half by her and half by her late partner? If so, I hope she publishes it and makes millions to keep to herself. I wonder if she has thought to publish it in another country. Hmmm...
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