Story that Lula Tried to Rape Someone Was Just a Joke, Says Another Witness

Lula, union leader For another person present at the 1994 meeting in which Lula told the story that he had tried to rape a young political prisoner in jail with him, who was known as "MEP's boy" was just a crude joke not different from other pranks and capers the current Brazilian president was always playing with friends.  

On Friday, November 27, César Benjamin, 55, one of the founders of the Workers Party wrote an article in the daily Folha de S. Paulo, where he is a columnist, recalling the story he had kept a secret all these years, to accuse Lula of attempting to rape someone in jail.

The action would have occurred in 1980, when then union leader Lula was jailed for 30 days by the military dictatorship ruling Brazil. Benjamin mentions is his piece as someone who was also present at the encounter "a Brazilian adman who also worked with us and whose name I forget."

The adman is Silvio Tendler, a filmmaker, who like Benjamin also worked in Lula's presidential campaign in 1994. He recalls very well the episode and has come forward with his version of what happened.

"It was obvious to all of us who heard the story, laughing, that this was one of the many Lula's jokes, nothing more than that, a joke. Every day Lula took the piss out of somebody, he told jokes, invented stories. The victim that day was an American marketing professional.

"Lula invented that story, a joke, to shock the guy…Only a feeble-minded person, a rancorous and resentful guy as Benjamin, would keep in this dramatic and packed-in-rancor way, for 15 years, a joke, an obvious joke…"

Tendler believes that Benjamin has been upset with Lula's success as president and by transforming a joke in drama "he will win the Blonde of the Year trophy."

"Just think about it," says the adman. "You think Lula, right this Lula, smart as he is, in the mid of a presidential campaign, would get in front of a gringo who he hardly knew, a gringo who was going to go back to his country and tell everything he saw, you think Lula is going to get to a gringo who he never saw, in front of witnesses, and he is going to tell that he attempted to rape someone? Yeah, It obvious, plain, that it was a prank, a joke, leg-pulling, without any of all this drama brought now by Benjamin. We laughed and no one took any notice of that."

Read our previous story on this matter:


  • Show Comments (6)

  • Joao Brown

    Why Cesar Benjamin took so long?
    Dear Anita,

    Your question has an easy answer. As Cesar Benjamin said in his text, he was motivated to go public after he saw that crappy fictional move about Lula’s life where his period in jail was painted as some heroic predicament.

    Could he go public earlier? Yes, he could. Is it easy to accuse a powerful person? No. it is not. We all know what happened to other PT members who tried to denounce corruption. Does the name Celso Daniel ring a bell? Toninho do PT?

    The ball is now on the alleged victim’s court. In 2 occasions, he refused to clear the president. I think it is becoming something very worrisome for Lula. If the accusation were completely bogus, there is no reason to believe that the alleged victim would not clear it immediately.

    As for Lula’s character, that is a man who brags of holding checks to widows of deceased fellow union members to try to take them to bed. There is a word for that. It starts with “socio” and it ends with “pathy”.

  • João da Silva

    [quote]This is all just disgusting, we’re talking about an attempted crime. [/quote]

    My dear, you are missing my basic question. Why did it take so long for Benjamin to spill the beans? Remember he was the Vice-Presidential candidate with HeloÀƒ­sa Helena in 2006 and he (or she) didn’t mention a word about it.They could have effectively used this story in their campaign.

    BTW, how many [i][b]millions [/b][/i]of Brasilians read Folha?

  • João da Silva

    The Guest
    Hi Guest,

    Good to hear from you again and hope you are doing well. Re your comments:

    [quote]JoÀƒ£o, I beg to differ with your opinion. Silvio Tendler is very colourful with his words just as an english man would be in his description of the event.[/quote]

    You may differ from my opinion. But still I think that Silvio Tendler has no business to come out with his explanation and I am not too sure that he is “colorful” with his words. He is just another “puxa saco”. Basically, I am questioning the veracity of this story of Benjamin.In case you have not read my original comment in the other thread, I am reproducing it below:

    [quote][b][i]Benjamin had two opportunities (one in 2002 and another in 2006) to tarnish the image of the then Presidential candidate and reduce the chances of Lula being elected. Why wait till now to come out with this “sensational” news ? Unfortunately Folha is indulging in pure yellow journalism, by publishing his article.

    Could you give us all a plausible explanation for BenjaminÀ‚´s waiting for almost two decades to come out with this “story”?

    Also of interest to note is that the Folha seems to write stories about the [i][b]past[/b][/i] “misdeeds” of the Presidents, who are already gone or about to go. About a month ago, they came out with a story about FHC having a son out of wedlock with a female reporter of a famous TV network and it turned out to be true. His son was born when he was a senator and nothing was reported about it when he was running for Presidency (twice) and after 18 years finally the press “revealed” it to the public.

    IMHO, the press is just deviating from the main issues and providing the public at large with some cheap summertime entertainment. Before we know what is happening, we will see Benjamin standing for an elected post next year from one party and Silvio Tendler from another party. All these guys are taking the Brasilians for fools.

  • The Guest

    JoÀƒ£o, I beg to differ with your opinion. Silvio Tendler is very colourful with his words just as an english man would be in his description of the event.

    However, putting his words aside, it is not Lula’s responsibility to tell jokes in english to “an American marketing professional” whom I presume is in Brazil to conduct business. If that individual do not understand portuguese then he or she should be with an interpreter, otherwise Lula’s jokes are the least of their problems.

    Plus why should all of Lula”s meetings be completely serious events? Of course there is a time and place for everything and if the opportunity presents itself why not tell some jokes. Jokes reduce stress and take the edges off of serious meetings, they do not diminish the results.

  • João da Silva

    Silvio Tendler made the situation worse by making the following statement:

    [quote]It was obvious to all of us who heard the story, laughing, that this was one of the many Lula’s jokes, nothing more than that, a joke. Every day Lula took the piss out of somebody, he told jokes, invented stories. The victim that day was an American marketing professional.[/quote]

    He is implying that Mr.Lula is not too serious in any meeting and takes the “piss out of somebody” and the “victims” being people who do not understand Portuguese! Hope Silvio Tendler keeps his mouth shut and lets the PresidentÀ‚´s PR persons handle the situation.

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