MAX CAVALERA Prevails In Libel Lawsuit Brought By Former Sister-In-Law

October 4, 2019

A final decision has reportedly been reached in favor of former SEPULTURA frontman Max Cavalera in the ongoing libel case filed in Brazil by his's former sister-in-law.

Monika Bass Cavalera, who became SEPULTURA's manager several years after Max left the band, filed a lawsuit against Max for calling her a "bitch" in his 2013 autobiography, "My Bloody Roots: From Sepultura To Soulfly And Beyond", and and claiming that she "tried to pick [Max] up" before hooking up with his brother, Igor Cavalera.

In "My Bloody Roots", Max wrote about Monika: "I never liked Igor's wife. She was a bitch. They're finally divorced now, thank God. When we first met her, she tried to pick me up, but I didn't want anything to do with her. A couple of weeks later, she was with my brother, which I always felt was kinda weird, like he was the second-best option or something. That always bugged me. But he fell in love with her anyway."

He went on to say: "There was something about the way [Monika] talked to [Igor] that always bothered me. She'd say stuff like, 'My father is rich: he can provide me with a big house and a great life. You'd better do better than that.' In front of everybody. I couldn't stand her, man. I still can't. I found out later that she became [SEPULTURA's] manager and was the person who wanted and took Gloria's [Cavalera, Max's wife and former SEPULTURA manager] job. And she was a dental assistant! How does a dental assistant become a manager? Unbelievable."

Monika Bass Cavalera filed a lawsuit against Max in 2014, seeking one million Brazilian reals (approximately $262,000) in "moral" damages.

In October 2015, a São Paulo ruled in Monika's favor and ordered Max to pay 50,0000 Brazilian reals (approximately $13,000) in damages and to cover Monika's legal fees. Max appealed the decision and the case is now considered "res judicata," meaning it cannot be changed. Max is "released from any obligation toward the plaintiff," according to a statement release by his publicist. "Additionally, due to baselessly filing multiple appeals, Cavalera's lawyer petitioned the court to penalize the plaintiff. As a result, the plaintiff will now have to pay a fine of one percent of the total amount she asked for from Cavalera."

"It feels great to put this case behind me," Max says. "It was very frustrating knowing I had always been honest about the events of my life, even the negative times. I am grateful to the courts in Brazil for seeing the truth in this matter and letting justice prevail."

Max was represented in this case by Daniela Pasqua of Pasqua Sociedade de Advogados.

In an interview with Phoenix New Times, Max stated about his decision to write his memoir: "It felt like it was a good time. I'm reaching about 30 years of my career. 30 years of music. It's a story that I think is really cool. Coming from Brazil... and you know, achieving what you wanted, your dream.

"I worked with a guy, Joel McIver, who is an English writer. He wrote a Randy Rhoads book, a MOTÖRHEAD book, a DEEP PURPLE book, and a METALLICA unofficial biography, which they really loved. We did about 1,000 interviews trying to remember everything. It wasn't chronological. One day, we'd talk about my childhood or the split from SEPULTURA or the death of [Max Cavalera's stepson] Dana. That was a really hard time to talk to about. It tough to talk about that stuff. That was hard… Dark, really dark."

Asked if it was therapeutic for him to go through all of this, Max said: "We treated it more like conversation, like we're doing right now. It was more like us just having a talk.

"I wanted to be easy for people to read. I didn't want it to be complicated. I wanted it to be as easy as possible.

"The book starts in Brixton [London], which was the last show with SEPULTURA. Then we go back to my childhood in Brazil.

"I didn't know it was the final show at the time, but it was a really explosive way to begin. I thought it was a really cool to open it like that. It was his idea, instead of going chronologically. I was on top, conquering the world, and then right after that, getting kicked in the head and everything was gone. My band was gone, my brother was gone, Dana had just died."

Photo: Hannah Verbeuren

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