Jose Salvador Alvarenga, the fisherman who famously survived more than 430 days lost at sea after a violent storm took control of his boat in 2012, is now at the center of a million-dollar lawsuit accusing him of cannibalism. The late Ezequiel Cordoba's family alleges that Alvarenga ate their relative's remains after he reportedly became sick and died, the New York Daily News reports.
"I believe that this demand is part of the pressure from this family to divide the proceeds of royalties," Alvarenga's lawyer, Ricardo Cucalon, tells El Diario de Hoy of the recently released Jonathan Franklin novel 438 Days. "Many believe the book is making my client a rich man, but what he will earn is much less than people think." Cordoba's family is demanding half of the book's revenues, though the book has reportedly "sold poorly" in the United States.
Earlier this year, Alvarenga revealed his own account of those harrowing 14 months to Franklin for the Guardian. "[Cordoba] asked me to tell his mother that he was sad he could not say goodbye and that she shouldn’t make any more tamales for him – they should let him go, that he had gone with God," Alvarenga told Franklin, revealing that he ultimately pushed Cordoba's body overboard after keeping it aboard for nearly a week. "What else could I do?"