Sean Goldman’s Stepfather Tells His Side and Goes Back to Court to Get Boy

David Goldman kisses Sean

The Brazilian family of the American 9-year-old boy Sean Goldman, who returned to the United States five years after being abducted by his mother to Rio, told reporters that it took them almost 48 hours before they got the first news from the child. They came in the form of a text message and a voice message sent from his father’s cell phone.

The text, received on Thursday, Christmas Eve, at 11:47 pm, Rio time, just said: “I arrived.” On Christmas Day, at 11:34 am, Sean left a message on the answering machine saying: “Nona (grandma), I arrived here. I’m well. Kiss and goodbye.”

Commenting on the message, Silvana Bianchi, the boy’s maternal grandmother, informed that Sean’s sounded tearful: “It was subdued. There was no way to know what was going on.”

Silvana complained that she hadn’t been able to talk to the grandson until Sunday: “I’m trying to call David’s cell phone, but I can’t reach him. Either it’s disconnected or it rings and no one answers. I left a message, but got no answer,”

She says she prefers not to speculate on the possibility that David Goldman might be keeping her from talking to her grandson. “I prefer not to judge. Who knows, the phone might have no signal,” she noted.

Bianchi described in gray colors her family’s Christmas party this year and she can’t forgive the ruling by the Supreme Court against her appeal that Sean be heard before being sent back to the US: “We don’t have what to celebrate. I’m nervous, taking medication to calm down. I cry for longing. His sister – Chiara, 1 year and 3 months old – calls for Sean all day long.”

And she added: “Every day that passes I’m getting worse. His sister spends the day calling her brother. She goes to the door of his room and calls him.”

Silvana says she is prepared for a long wait. “His room will stay the way it is. Till he comes back. Of course, we will change a few things later, because things become outdated like clothes, books, television. We’ll redo it all later. But his place will be always there.”

João Paulo Lins e Silva, Sean’s stepfather, informed in an interview with TV show Fantastico that he intends to visit the boy in the United States. “I hope there is no impediment. Sean asked that we didn’t let him go away,” he said adding that in his final days in Brazil the child wouldn’t stop crying: “He said, ‘Dad, don’t let me go.’ The day he left he even vomited. It was very hard to spend Christmas without him,” he noted.

Lins e Silva justified his fight in court to get the boy’s custody by noting that he had participated in more than 60% of Sean’s life, maintaining with him a father-son relationship. He revealed that the child called him father.

David Goldman, according to the lawyer, called just a few times to talk to his son, during all these years and only once made a request to visit Sean. This was right after Bruna Bianchi, the mother of Sean, died while giving birth to Chiara, her daughter with Lins e Silva.

The boy’s stepfather described his Christmas: “Spending Christmas without my son was very hard. I don’t doubt that there will be some way to prevent our contact. I don’t expect anything different. I hope it doesn’t, for the sake of Sean. It was a promise I made, that I would be visiting him all the time.”

The relationship with the mother, the stylist Bruna Bianchi, Lins e Silva revealed, started in Brazil around 2005, and he approached the boy very cautiously:

“We did things very slowly. I was the friend of the mother. Then a June 12, Valentine’s Day, he brought me a gift and said, ‘This here is the gift for my mother’s boyfriend.” He gave it to me and hugged me. It was the first time he saw me kissing Bruna. He was very happy, very moved, it was very nice. After a while, he started calling me dad. It was his idea.”

The stepfather says he could not understand why Goldman kept his distance from the son. “I didn’t really understand why this distance of this biological father in relation to Sean. This father didn’t call. He called two or three times, and less and less, less and less.”

He denied claims made by David Goldman that he was prevented by the Brazilian family to approach the boy: “This never happened, this is not true. It never was. The biological father was in Brazil two or three times during the litigation while Bruna was still alive and made no contact. This request to visit happened once in those 5 years Sean has been in Brazil, once, exactly the week Bruna died.”

The Brazilian family’s lawyer, Sergio Tostes, stated he intended to contact Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to arrange a visit by the grandmother to the U.S.

“The ministry has the obligation to assist Brazilians who are outside the country. I’m not going to talk to the Brazilian embassy in Washington, I will go directly to the ministry.”

Tostes also raised doubts about the authenticity of the picture released by NBC in which Sean appears smiling next to his father inside the plane that took him from Rio to Miami: “A legal expert said there are indications that it is a montage.”

As for the turmoil at the boy’s arrival at the US Consulate in Rio to be handed over to his father, Tostes reiterated that the Brazilian family was not offered a place in the garage of the consulate, to avoid media exposure, as announced by the American authorities.

He said he knew the press would be there, but decided to walk to the Consulate building because the US did not offer any kind of security.

“I was obeying a court order saying that I had to enter through the front door of the consulate, at Avenida Presidente Wilson 147. I said I’d walk, because the media would be present and the consulate did not offer us protection,” he said.

Contrary to statements made before Christmas, Tostes is now saying that Sean’s Brazilian family hasn’t given up getting the boy’s custody. He announced he will file an appeal in the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) against the decision by Rio’s Federal Regional Court (TRF-2), which ordered the handing over of Sean to his father.

“If the higher courts modify the decision of the TRF-2, the family trusts that all measures will be taken by the Brazilian authorities for Sean’s immediate return to Brazil,” the lawyer noted in a written statement.

The lawyer is also waiting a review by the Supreme Court (STF) of the merits of the claim filed by Silvana Bianchi, for Sean to be heard in court. “If the decision is made in favor of his grandmother, a rogatory letter will be sent to the United States, where S. is at the moment, so that he can be heard in court.”


  • Show Comments (27)

  • whatever

    it will never end
    You know, if they are making no effort to mask the nutty behavior, you have to conclude that they just do not know any better. They are use to special treatment. Its why they did what they did, its why they continue.

    There is a big cultural and social difference that is playing out here. They are really screwed in the US and Brazil. Brazilians are sick of these rich jerks that say and do anything they want because that is the way things work in Brazil. But most times the rich win so this is new for middle class Brazilians to see…and they like it because its real justice.

    If I hear about this guys familys 132 year reign of family law (corruption) in Rio one more time, I’m going to puke.

    And they have no idea of the audacity of how they come across in the US because they understand nothing about how people think here. Silviana thinks everything should work the Brazilian way. Grandmothers raise expired childrens kids so that is the way it should be. The hell with the US dad as far as she is concerned. Its the Brazilian culture that counts and she is completely inflexible. And she sees absolutely nothing wrong with that theory.

    And really, if Hillary and Obama and that NJ senator did not get involved, Sean would still be in Brazil and this rich dude would still be bribing the courts to keep it that way. They will bribe the courts and thats ok but they lose, and all of the sudden its about a trade agreement in their eyes. Sorry Bianchi’s. The US’s bribe was bigger than yours. Live with it. Because really, thats what it boils down to because thats all that Brazilian judicial responds to. Bribery in one form or another.

    I think the US needs to look at every single case like this between Brazil and the US and start holding back more trade agreements. Where you find one Sean Goldman, I think you will find hundreds more…

  • GTFarrell

    The “Famiglia”, the Adams family, the Corleones
    They are insane, and it seems they don’t really love Sean. Why would they shoot themselves on the foot like that? If I were Sean’s mom or dad I’d not let these liars near my kid. I would watch them like a hawk so they would badmouth me, the parent, to my child.

    The “Famiglia” has not done ONE thing I could call generous or intelligent. It’s beem one crazy act after another. Sean is in a much healthier environment now.

  • Ernest Barteldes

    Yeah right. Like Lins e Silva, Tostes and Bianchi are going to legally re-kidnap Sean. In their dreams.

  • Celita Polsgrove

    Who said that all kind of love is good?
    What Joao Lins(stepnothing) and Silvana (grandma)claim is the selfishness, the evil “love” that I don’t recognize as pure and unconditional love (love always is pure and always is unconditional).That family in Brazil is really sick: a stephnothing claims to be the “real ” father. He knows his father : Evandro Lins e Silva (?) a famous attorney and seems to be a very good man (I don’t think he put his hands in this mess). Silvana knows who father is. So we all know whom Sean father is. Davd knows who his son is (he never claim to be father of that little one , half-sister. I know that nobody but my father was given by God. This is his low. Fathers don’t choose their children. They are given and it’s about God this matter. So, why many paghes about this people? Turn the page because we are very happy when a real (not the fake one) get his or her son/daughter back to the place they belong.
    Out of this, is just a diablic will, to steal the rights from someone.

  • Mica

    Child abduction
    For all the attention this case has garnished, the fact of the matter overlooked is that this happens in the USA all the time. Mothers take children away from their fathers by levying a defense of false allegations of domestic violence or sexual abuse by the noncustodial parent. The court errs on the side of caution and cuts off the bond between the child and their noncustodial parent. This happened to my husband with an out of state abduction and he did not see his child for 18 months and rarely saw the child over the next 18 months as the custodial mother interferred with every attempt my husband made to strength the bond with his child. After the divorce was completed and she got her money and sole custody, the allegations mysteriously disappeared. I say, shame on all courts in all lands, not just Brazil.

  • Rachel

    PS, impersonator – you are a goddamn retard if you think I speak broken English.

  • Marianne

    The step father should raise his daughter. What kind of father Paulo Lins has been be to Sean if he does not even raise his own child? The grandma was raising both kids!This is a message for the grandmother: You have lost your daughter, you know how painful is to lose a child. Have you not learned that you have caused the same pain to David? You took Sean from his father for 5 years. The boy is HAPPY and you need to deal with it! What you do here you pay here!

  • Rachel

    Someone needs to start moderating this site because someone is using my name illegally.

  • audax

    Basic Math???
    Kidnapper ‘told reporters that it took them almost 48 hours before they got the first news from the child
    The text, received on Thursday, Christmas Eve, at 11:47 pm, Rio time, just said: “I arrived.” On Christmas Day, at 11:34 am, Sean left a message on the answering machine saying: “Nona (grandma), I arrived here. I’m well. Kiss and goodbye.”
    Sean left 9 am on Christmas Eve. They received the first message at 11:47 pm the same day (about 15 hours later)and the second one at 11:34 am the next day (about 26 hours later). I’m far from being a math whiz, but it just does not add up. LIES once again and the media is dumb enough to publish this trash.
    Also, Sean did not say “I’m well” he said “I’m very happy”. This per the voice mail the kidnapper played to the Brazilian media.

  • Juan De La Cruz


  • PeekABoo

    The grandmother needs to watch the Today Show.

  • Sara

    Good luck getting him back to Brazil
    The US Courts declared this a child abduction in 2004. Bruna and her parents were both ordered to appear before the court with the little boy, they didn’t, and David was awarded sole custody. It doesn’t matter what Brazil says, US Courts, State Department and Congress all have supported this as a Haque violation. If they want custody of Sean they had better file their lawsuit in NJ, and good luck with that one.

  • betsy

    Wow! Cold-hearted AND dilusional!! And unethical, wow! Merry Christmas David and Sean! Thank you so much Brazil for doing the right thing! Every step taken, every word spoken by the Brazillian family is yet another confirmation. Thanks so much for giving Sean the best gift he could receive!

  • ….

    These people are just insane. :/ I do not get why they are continuing this. How is this in the best interests of the kid? Sean isn’t a ball that should be bounced around; he’s a young boy. The courts ruled that he should be with his father, so let him be.

    And seriously why are they bemoaning not being able to talk to Sean when they, themselves, did the samething to his father? Is it only okay for them? It’s like they think their feelings should be more important than anyone else’s.

  • Juan de la Cruz

    The stepfather must be a really powerful superlawyer to be able to reverse the Brazilian Supreme Court ruling, the Hague Convention on child abduction and to defy the natural relationship between a biological father and his son. The scenario where the United States instructs her citizen to surrender his own son to a foreigner living in another country is beyond my imagination.

  • Clint Eastwood

    Go ahead Horsetooth, make my day
    If Horsetooth shows up in the United States, I would like to introduce him to my friends Smith and Wesson.

  • Stacey

    What exactly do you mean Rachel?I’m completely confused by your comment..the boy has never had a chance to speak about any of this.Have you followed this from the beginning?

  • Jeana

    Different Story
    Ok, this guy either thinks the people in Brazil are stupid or have a short term memory. In his letter to a council months ago, he detailed his relationship with Bruna started before she went back to Brazil. They moved in together in January 2005 which is why he stated that the boy had been living with him more than he had lived with David Goldman. This man can still practice law in Brazil after all the backroom tactics he’s been using just speaks of the corruption in Brazilian law. Amazing – but then again, it does not surprise me. These people think they are above everyone else. All my Brazilian friends who are hardworking middle class people can’t stand what these people have done – an injustice to Brazilians in general.

  • sean is home:

    Sean is home here in the United States where he belongs. If Bruna was so unhappy here in the United States and in her marriage, she should have divorced in the US and split custody and moved forward. The Bianchi’s are now forced to go through what David Goldman endured for FIVE years. You can’t just take a child away from a doting father. I don’t care if Mr. Silva feels “great power” in Brazil due to his money and status…that doesn’t give you the right to keep Sean from his father. I applaud the Supreme Court in Brazil and those Brazilians who have showed great compassion and support for David Goldman. This isn’t about the United States vs. Brazil. This is about the right thing being done and a son being returned to his father. If I were the Bianchi’s, I would drop the petty behavior and comments…David Goldman has said his grandparents will be part of his life, he doesn’t have to do that, especially considering the way that he has been treated for five years.

  • Juan de la Cruz


  • cmh

    God took away your wife for the evil you and her did to David and his son. I Pray your next for what you did to Sean for walking though all the press. BURN IN HELL WITH YOUR WIFE!!!!!

  • Ellen

    These people are insane. There is proof in the press that both the Brazil family and the lawyer has frequently lied. If I were David Goldman I would sever ALL ties with these people. They are nuts. (Or the lawyer is being very smart and doing this because he realizes that soon he will not be able to collect fees).

  • ..

    [quote]Then a June 12, Valentine’s Day, he brought me a gift and said, ‘This here is the gift for my mother’s girlfriend.”[/quote]

    So Sean mistook João Lins for a woman? That explains the whole story.:D;-)

    [quote]João Paulo Lins e Silva, Sean’s stepfather, informed in an interview with TV show Fantastico that he intends to visit the boy in the United States. “I hope there is no impediment.[/quote]

    There will certainly be no impediment provided he wears womens´s clothes to make it easy for Sean to recognize his Late Mother´s “Girlfriend”.:-);-):D

  • Lynn

    Let it be. Give time to David and family to be with Sean and share all the love they have longed to give for the past 5 years. And in that spirit of love and family, I wish that all the family members in Brazil and the US will be guided by true love and wisdom….and that all those commenting will step back and see all the tragedy that has occurred in the past 5 years….there is more than enough to grieve about by all with the end of a marriage, the pain of separation of father and son, the death of a loved one. Look forward and may strength of character lead the way. Selfishness has no place if Sean is truly loved and cherished.

  • jdog

    Those people are sick.

  • Silvia Flores

    What a crock
    How does it feel? I’m sure you answered the father’s calls too. Karma comes back in more way then one.

  • margaret ortiz-tudor

    I am sorry for Sean because this is his Nona-but I heard the voice message he left her over the news-

    Sean did NOT say ‘I’m well’. What he REALLY said before editing was “I’m very happy”. Speak the truth and shame the devil. These people are rich, shameless, power-hungry kidnappers who should have been arrested and charged-and Sean returned to his TRUE father-YEARS ago.

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