Court Dismisses TARJA TURUNEN's Husband's Defamation Case Over NIGHTWISH Book

According to YLE, the Helsinki District Court has dismissed charges of libel related to the contents of an authorized book about the Finnish symphonic metal band NIGHTWISH.

Marcelo Cabuli, the husband of former NIGHTWISH singer Tarja Turunen, and his business partners demanded nearly 100,000 euros (approximately $135,000) in defamation damages from the parties behind "Once Upon a Nightwish: The Official Biography 1996-2006". Named in the lawsuit were the publishing house Like Kustannus Oy and the author of the book, Marko "Mape" Ollila. Cabuli and his Brazilian business partners argued that the book includes false accusations and insinuations that have caused them suffering and financial problems.

The book, which was published in Finnish in 2006 and in English three years later, blames Cabuli for the events leading up to Turunen's dramatic expulsion from the band in late 2005.

The court ruled that the book — which criticizes Cabuli on only a few of its 380 pages — did not detrimentally affect his work or reputation in South America. In addition, the court determined that Ollila did not maliciously portray Cabuli in a negative light.

As a writer, Ollila had the right to report what people familiar with NIGHTWISH told him in interviews, the District Court said.

The Argentine businessman sought more than 50,000 euros in damages over claims made in the book, while three of his Brazilian business partners were seeking 15,000 euros each.

Cabuli earlier in the year dropped some of his previous demands, such as that the author and publisher should receive harsher punishment because "Cabuli is a citizen of Argentina," according to Ilta-Sanomat.

Like Kustannus Oy CEO Päivi Isosaari and Ollila denied the charges and stood behind the book, which chronicles NIGHTWISH's rise to the status of one of the most successful symphonic metal acts in the world, including the circumstances that led to the departure of Turunen. Isosaari and Ollila insisted that they had good reason to believe that the claims of the book were true and they intended to call Ollila's sources, including several influential music-business figures, as their witnesses.

"Well, I did read the text and I authorized it to be published and therefore I stand behind the book," Isosaari told Ilta-Sanomat in a 2009 interview.

Turunen was fired from NIGHTWISH a year before the book was published.

"Once Upon a Nightwish: The Official Biography 1996-2006" has reportedly sold 11,000 copies in Finland since its 2006 release.

In his 2006 review of the book, Jarkko Jokelainen of Helsingin Sanomat wrote, "The book points the finger [for the split with Tarja] most firmly in the direction of Marcelo Cabuli, husband and personal manager of the band's former vocal soloist Tarja Turunen. With every turning page, the charges against the Argentine Cabuli get heavier and heavier.

"The portrait of Marcelo Cabuli depicts a money-grasping, less-than-honest, arbitrary, and manipulative manager who was engaged on setting up his wife's solo career and who drove a wedge between her and the other members of the power metal band.

"NIGHTWISH's contractual dealings and touring plans became a painful exercise, as there was 'a Hispanic in the works' at every turn.

"Against this background, it is somewhat awkward that the defendant himself does not get a hearing in the book, even though the other sources close to the band are given full rein to open their hearts and mouths. Not even Tarja Turunen gets to comment on her husband's doings.

"It is probable that the decision is the couple's own, but this does not disguise the fact that it is the book's greatest drawback. The author Marko 'Mape' Ollila has sought to be even-handed in his coverage, but in part for the reasons above, this band-history inevitably becomes a speech on behalf of the male members of the group and other figures in the background.

"NIGHTWISH would seem on the basis of this work to have been so divided into two distinct camps that both sides of the story cannot be fitted between the covers of one book."

Read the entire review at this location.

Bazillion Points Books is offering a free download of "Chapter 5. The Upward Spiral", excerpted from the North American edition of "Once Upon a Nightwish: The Official Biography 1996-2006", by Mape Ollila.

Joining the book in progress at the start of 2000 during the aftermath of "Oceanborn", this chapter gives inside perspective on events including NIGHTWISH's early gigs with RAGE and future bassist Marco Hietala's early band SINERGY; singer Tarja Turunen's bloody battles with mosquitoes in the wilds of Finland; the band and chief songwriter Tuomas Holopainen's rarely discussed and ill-fated flirtation with the Eurovision song contest; and the creation of what would ultimately be the breakthrough "Wishmaster" CD.

The sample chapter can be downloaded from Bazillion Points Books at this location.

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