A 9-year-old boy at the center of an international custody battle told a psychologist he wants to stay with his stepfamily in Brazil rather than return to the United States with his biological father, according to a transcript of the interview.
In the transcript, released by the Brazilian family's lawyers on Wednesday, Sean Goldman tells the psychologist that if he is sent back to New Jersey to be with David Goldman he will "break down totally."
"I want to stay here in Brazil," the 9-year-old repeats in the interview.
The interview with Sean Goldman was conducted Monday by psychologist Terezinha Feres-Carneiro in a Rio de Janeiro hospital. It wasn't immediately clear who paid for the psychologist's services.
When asked to draw a picture of his family, the boy drew only his stepfather, sister and Brazilian grandparents.
Father fighting for custody
The transcript's release follows comments last week by David Goldman that a hearing in Brazil had made public an issue that he said he had been legally barred from discussion 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.
Goldman's lawyer told the judges about reports by three court-appointed psychologists who found Sean was suffering.
Calls to David Goldman and his lawyer late Wednesday were not immediately returned.
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 in Brazil and married Rio de Janeiro 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 Goldman be returned to the United States, but that decision was suspended after a petition was filed arguing that removing Sean from his current family environment would hurt the boy.
Last week, Brazil's Supreme Court rebuffed the petition, instead ruling the decision on the boy's fate must be made by a federal court.