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Brazilian Family's Lawyer Plans Media Circus; U.S. Pleads for Privacy

Sean Goldman's Brazilian family and their attorney will bring the boy to the American consulate in Rio de Janeiro Thursday morning shortly before 9 a.m. to hand him over to his father, David Goldman. Presumably, Goldman and his son will return to the United States later that day.

But although American officials have urged the media and others to respect Sean's privacy during the transition, the Brazilian family has other plans, according to the attorney, Sergio Tostes.

I spoke with Tostes late last night at his home in an exclusive interview for CBS News, as part of GlobalPost's partnership with the network. Their report is now up, here.

The turnover, Tostes said, would be done quite publicly, with the family walking to the entrance to the consulate. He said they would do so in protest of the Goldman side's intransigence about a visitation plan and other aspects of the turnover.

According to Tostes, discussions went well at first. The two sides had agreed to have Goldman meet with Sean's grandmother, Silvana Bianchi, so Bianchi could explain some of Sean's habits, as well as some medical issues and food allergies. (He can't eat shellfish.) There was also an agreement that David would pick up Sean at the family's home, not meet him at the Consulate.

But things fell apart over visitation. Technically speaking, visitation issues now fall under the purview of the New Jersey courts. But Tostes said he hoped to have some initial agreement in place before Sean left.

"It could be something we could tell the boy," he said. "We'll be visiting you."

Suggestions to let Bianchi and Tostes accompany Sean and his father to New Jersey today were turned down by Goldman's attorneys, he said.

This morning, Orna Blum, a spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy, the version Tostes gave CBS, and pled for a calm and private turnover. "We remain very concerned about the exposure of Sean to the media by legal counsel in Brazil," she said. "As we announced last night to the media, we make an appeal to the public, all members of the press and parties to the case to participate in a calm and smooth handover this morning, in order to protect the privacy and emotional well being of Sean." 

Furthermore, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) had told me yesterday morning that experts had counseled Goldman that having family members from Brazil travel to New Jersey would be detrimental to the boy's successful transition.

Goldman has previously said that he would be open to visitation by the Brazilian family.

 

 

 

http://www.globalpost.com/notebook/brazil/091223/turnover-set-tomorrow-morning-families-at-odds-over-visitation