BRASILIA, Brazil (CBS/AP) A 9-year-old boy at the center of an international custody battle has told a psychologist he wants to stay with his stepfamily in Brazil rather than return to New Jersey with his biological father, according to a transcript of the interview with the child.
In the transcript, released by the Brazilian family's lawyers on Wednesday, Sean Goldman tells the psychologist that if he is sent back to David Goldman, who lives in Tinton Falls, N.J., he will "break down totally."
"I want to stay here in Brazil," he repeats in the interview, which was conducted Monday by psychologist Terezinha Feres-Carneiro in a Rio de Janeiro hospital.
The transcript was submitted to Rio judicial authorities, who must decide the fate of the boy. It's unclear who paid for the psychologist or if she was appointed by the courts involved in the case.
Asked about his memories of New Jersey, where he lived until he was 4, the boy said: "It was cold."
When asked to draw a picture of his family, he drew only his stepfather, sister and Brazilian grandparents.
In 2004, Sean's mother, Bruna Bianchi, took him for a two-week vacation to her native Brazil and never returned. She divorced David Goldman and married Rio lawyer Joao Paulo Lins e Silva.
She died last year, and a Rio state court granted Lins e Silva temporary custody of Sean.
A lower court in Brazil later ruled that Sean must be returned to the U.S., but that decision was suspended by a supreme court justice based on a petition filed by a political party that argued that removing Sean from his current family environment would hurt him.
The transcript's release, part of the current petition, follows comments last week by David Goldman, who said a hearing in Brazil had made public an issue he had been legally barred from discussing previously: "The psychological damage that has been inflicted on my son is finally out in the open."
"There's no words to describe the anxiety and the pain that I feel from that," he said.
Telephone calls to Goldman and his lawyer late Wednesday were not immediately returned.
Last week, Brazil's Supreme Court rebuffed the bid to stop Sean from being taken to the United States, instead ruling the decision on the boy's fate must be made by a federal court.