Family feud over mystery writer’s estate

When 50-year-old Stieg Larsson collapsed and died after walking up seven flights of stairs to his Stockholm apartment he left no will. For the estate of a less than prosperous crusading journalist it wasn’t that important a matter, but since his death Larsson’s crime fiction, notably The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, has become a massive international success. His estate—now worth $20 million—has become the object of a bitter legal battle between his long-time companion, Eva Gabrielsson, a 54-year-old architectural historian, and his estranged family. Gabrielsson lived with Larsson for 30 years but has inherited none of his earnings since his death because they were not married. “I think it’s a great injustice,” Gabrielsson said, “It would have been beyond Stieg’s worst nightmares to know that someone other than me was handling the rights to his books and to know that the money we planned to invest is gone.” Worse, according to Gabrielsson, is that Larsson’s father and brother have offered to trade her the half of her apartment that they inherited, in exchange for the author’s laptop, which has a 200-page manuscript stored on it. “My legal adviser called it extortion,” she said. “I refused to hand over the computer.”

Times Magazine

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