Tuesday, June 16, 2009

There Is Something Hinkey About This

Dad seeks custody of son taken to Brazil

"In 2004, David Goldman dropped off his wife, Bruna, and then-4-year-old son, Sean, at the airport for a two-week vacation in Brazil. Shortly after she arrived in her native country, Bruna told David she wanted a divorce and planned to stay in Brazil with their son.

Bruna later remarried and got pregnant, but she died while giving birth last summer. Goldman thought he was getting his son back, but a Brazilian family court judge granted custody of Sean to Bruna's new husband."

Goldman has been on every other TV show for years pleading his case.

But something about this whole scenario just rings hollow.

He claims no knowledge of any problems in the marriage before the wife split. OK. I can buy that. Been there, done that, twice.

But apparently there were problems. Problems so great that she didn't feel she could talk to him about them. Problems so great that she not only had to stage a surreptitious and dramatic escape to another continent, but she had to take her son with her.


According to Goldman, he got a call from Brazil on Father's Day.

"Bruna [his wife] says, "David, we need to talk. You're a great guy. You're a wonderful father, but our love affair is ended, is over. I've decided I want to live in Brazil and you need to come down to Brazil immediately and sign 10 pages of papers with my attorney." There was a list of demands on these papers. One was giving her full custody. Another was to never go to the courts to file any claims of kidnapping or criminal charges."

Alright, I've been through two divorces and more breakups than most people have had relationships. This account just reeks of bullshit. Relationships just don't end this way.

There is some shit going on that we don't know about and probably won't because the wife and mother is dead.

But here is what I think this is about.

As the biological father, Goldman is obligated to provide child support.

But the child's mother is dead and the child support payments would be going to the step father in Brazil, the man his wife left him for, and who has custody of his son.

His son is now 9 years old. I don't think Goldman wants to be forced to pay 5 years of retroactive and 9 years of proactive child support to the Brazilian guy who fucked and stole his wife.

Can't say as I blame him.

But it's completely wrong to stick his son in the middle of a 5 year long, international custody dispute in order to save face and money. That's not putting the interest of he child first.

The child is blameless in this and should be every one's first priority. Clearly, he is not.

This is all speculation on my part. I don't know what Goldman's motivation is. I don't know why his wife felt it necessary to make such a dramatic escape. I don't know why she remarried and became tragically pregnant so quickly. I don't know why Goldman would spend so much money over so many years to regain custody of a son that doesn't even remember him. I don't know why the wife's family in Brazil would fight so hard to keep the kid from going back to his father.

All I know is, it smells. Something isn't right. We don't have the complete story.


Logtar said...

I have a different point of view here since I have know a lot of foreign woman that have married north americans.

If (and I am comminting the same sin XO does, but I think since he is the sole ruler of this blog he can grant me pardon) this was a male order bride type of situation, or the girl was young and just here for college, those relationships lack communication. The cultural differences are at times insurmountable.

I grew up partially here in the U.S. and still had a hard time reconciling cultural differences in my relationships when it come to communication. Like you illustrated, marriages sometimes are sorely lacking just straight conversation, add to that cultural differences and BAM you have a woman taking a child on vacation and then BUM divorce papers.

What the dude is doing now sounds super fishy... and I would have to agree with the potential of not wanting to pay child support, but I could honestly see the dude just wanting to take care of his child now that the biological mother is out of the picture. Fighting for custody as a man is rough, doing it in another country could have been impossible for him... now that the mother is gone he might want to save that child.

Faith said...

"...I could honestly see the dude just wanting to take care of his child now that the biological mother is out of the picture. Fighting for custody as a man is rough, doing it in another country could have been impossible for him... now that the mother is gone he might want to save that child."

BINGO. This is what I have thought about the case as I've been learning about it through the morning news over the last couple of weeks myself.

I feel very sorry for the guy, personally. And especially after we'd all just heard about that poor woman who's daughter was kidnapped and taken to Egypt by her biological father, and how she hasn't even been allowed to see her for however many years now - I think it's been 9 at least - it's becoming clearer and clearer that there are some fucked up laws out there that concern children being taken from their biological parents in America when the other half of the parenting "team" is from another country. Downright frightening...

I Travel for JOOLS said...

I saw him on tv too. He does see his son. According to the interview I saw, he's been to Brazil many times. The U.S. State Dept is now involved (H. Clinton) and apparently there are about 50 other cases of a similar nature in Brazil. I, of course, don't know the details but why would the State Dept get involved if this was not legit.

Kate said...

A few flaws to your theory. Goldman has been fighting to get his son back since day 1 meaning the day she called to say give me divorce and swear to never accuse me of kidnapping. That alone should signal that Bruna knows what she did was in fact kidnapping. And that Goldman was never trying to avoid his responsibilities (financially, which was the point you discussed).

That aside, Bruna's widow (E Lins Silva) has written a letter a few months back saying that the reason why Bruna left Goldman. If we're to believe him, it was because
1. he no longer wants to touch her. They were living in separate bedrooms. So no sex.
2. She felt that Goldman's relationship with his son was too close and she felt unappreciated.
3. She was tired of having to hold down 2 jobs and be the primary breadwinner.
He also called Goldman a golddigger because Bruna started some sort of children's clothing business in Brazil that's supposedly successful and Goldman wants profit from it. That business, by the way, is dead, so I'm not sure what profits he's referring to. And Goldman's lawyer officially offered to write up or have the stepfather's lawyer (he himself is a prominent lawyer of, get this, child kidnapping/family custody, etc - he usually fights for the parents whose child is kidnapped by the other parents, talk about irony) sign a contract so Goldman would never get access to this supposed fortune. Which again, no longer exists, the business is gone.

Kate said...

You also mentioned that Goldman is just trying to avoid paying 5 yrs of back child support. The amount of money he spent in lawyers and flights and hotels (journey to Brazil 12 times in 5 years) and job opportunities for 5 years, don't you think it'd just be cheaper to pay child support to begin with? But also, in the eye of the United States, Goldman is neither divorced nor abandoned his child nor did not have full custody. What court would force him to pay child support? The Brazillian court? The one who already admitted that Sean got kidnapped? And even if say that flies, how in the hell would the Brazillian court be able to enforce that to someone in New Jersey? Also remember that The Brazillian court has found that the kid was NEVER officially got adopted by the stepfather. Bruna and ELinsSilva got married but there's an official step for adoption, it never happened. The paperwork that they claimed they have was rejected by the court. So let's see.... 1. The US court says Goldman and Bruna isn't divorced, instead, he's widowed. And he never gave up custody. 2. The Brazil court says they are divorced but acknowledged she kidnapped the kid. 3. She is now dead. 4. The kid was never adopted by the stepfather so with the mother dead, he doesn't really have a stepfather, not really. 5. Goldman has steadfastly fought to get his son, to get custody back. 6. He has won a couple of court battles within the 5 yrs to be allowed to see his son, to the point where he was waiting outside their house and ELinsSilva's butler said oh, sorry, they're not in, they went out of town and will not be back for a few days. 7. You can't force a father to pay child support if you can't even allow for court-approved visitation. 8. The Brazillian court held ELinsSilva in contempt for that move. Which he did, twice.

I think that unfortunately, Bruna was just a bratty rich girl who did not want to be a simple, plain new jersey housewife having to work 2 jobs supporting a husband who didn't seem like he was a breadwinner. The guy worked on boats, couldn't have made that much money. She wanted to live the live she had when she was in Brazil but really couldn't find faults that would fly in court so she took off. That and David was no longer into her. Also, Bruna herself, on a recorded telephone call, acknowledged what a good father Goldman is, and what a good guy he is, she had nothing bad to say about him. What she did in that phone call (aired by NBC I think) was kept screaming saying she does not want to live in New Jersey. Also, one of Bruna's Brazillian friend came forward with an email sent to her by Bruna saying David didn't deserve to be treated like this.

In most 3rd world countries, the rich don't feel the law applies to them. It's probably hard to grow out of it if you grew up in that country til adulthood.

Kate said...

By the way, the denied visit I mentioned earlier happened in January or February I think. He got to see the kid in March finally after the court threatened the stepfather.

He has seen his son again after the ruling from the level 1 federal court judge was issued in beginning of June.

Faith said...

Hm. I think it's safe to say that this Kate person knows a leetle bit more about the case than you do XO. Do you still think something is fishy with the case after reading all that she has to say about the father's side?

Xavier Onassis said...

faith - Yes. I still think there is something hinkey about it. "Hinkey" is not a legal term. It isn't based on documents filed, time tables or affidavits. It's based on gut instinct.

There's just somethin about this guy and this case that isn't right.

That's my gut instinct.

Anonymous said...

XO, you don't understand why he would work so hard to get his son back?

You are beyond help? By the way, where did you go to Law School?

Legal Eagle