Gugu Liberato: Accident and Death

Created on 25 Nov, 2019
Revision of 01 Oct, 2022

The accident

Gugu had traveled to Orlando to spend five days off with his family. About 30 minutes after arriving at his residence, he climbed into the attic to try to regulate the temperature of the air conditioner that was freezing too much. Gugu was known for doing minor repairs and household chores in his daily life.

However, buildings in Brazil are very different from buildings in the United States. In Brazil the attic floor is usually a concrete slab, while in the USA it is drywall, foam and wooden beams that cannot support a person's weight.

Industry professionals have the practice of relying only on wooden beams. However, Gugu did not have this information and stepped on the plaster. It is not known exactly what happened, but the plaster gave way, opening a hole of ± 50cm in diameter, and the Gugu fell one floor down:

The fall was approximately 4 meters high:

An adult falling upright at this height is expected to fracture limbs and/or pelvis, but not a head injury. So he probably hit his head on the corner of some furniture, and the severity of the accident suggests that Gugu had no reaction and fell helpless.

At the time of the accident his partner, doctor Rose Miriam Di Matteo, and his three children were at home. Hearing the noise, Rose was the first to approach and provide first aid. Initially it was considered to drive him to the hospital but, after a more rational reflection, the emergency service was chosen. The call was made by the firstborn and the rescue arrived in five minutes.

While the details of the fall had not yet been fully disclosed, several rumors were circulating. Examples:

  • Gugu was placing Christmas ornaments (or tree) on the outside (or on the roof) of his house [1]:

  • Gugu went to get an air conditioner that was in the attic to give way to Christmas ornaments.

  • Climbed into the attic to change the filter of the air conditioner that was not working.

  • The impact was aggravated by beating his head hard on the corner of a piece of furniture (or iron stairs).

  • Both sides of the head were injured.

Accident Location

The presenter had bought the house, which is in a luxury condominium, about four months ago. The house with 630 m2 was sold for approximately $6.7 million. The real estate website describes the outside area as:

a private oasis with a charming saltwater pool, equipped with spa, kitchen and gas fireplace

The property features two floors, six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a host of other features including a living room with fireplace, a gourmet kitchen with granite counter tops and windows overlooking a lake and a fountain, and a towering ceiling. There are also rooms with private bathrooms, an office and a gym room.

Previously, the family's residence was in Celebration, a town near Orlando. The new house in the Windermere neighborhood is close to the first one (≈35km). The change was because of the upbringing of the children, only 5 min drive to high school. And that was where Gugu planned to slow down his hectic life in Brazil.

Gugu Liberato Residence, Windermere District, Orlando / FL, USA


The emergency service arrived quickly. But the journey to the hospital is not short. It's 27 minutes.

Orlando Health Medical Center, Florida, USA

With the fall, Gugu had a severe fracture in the right temporal bone. This caused a traumatic hemorrhage and bleeding spread around the brain:

In the hospital was found level 3 on the Glasgow scale. This scale measures brain activity and ranges from 3 to 15. This means that Gugu's brain activity was already critical when he arrived at the scene. In situations of this severity, most international protocols recommend non-surgical intervention. Otherwise, "heroic" measures tend to increase the chance of death or persistent vegetative state.

Initially he had some respiratory activity and therefore was not yet brain dead. However, the condition deteriorated rapidly and subsequent examinations proved this. After six hours, brain death was confirmed. There was no brain activity anymore. US law does not require it, but doctors also performed an angiography, which detected that there was no more blood flow to the brain.

Family members and director Homero Salles, hastily boarded Thursday morning (21) for Orlando. The mother, Maria do Céu Moraes Liberato, 90 years old, and her brother, Amandio Liberato, arrived in the US city around 4 pm (local time).

Maria do Céu arrived at the hospital reception supported by a wheelchair along with her son (Gugu's brother), in a very moving scene of reunion of family as the grandchildren were already waiting for her on the spot. She was constantly seen with her hands on her head in shock. Gugu's eldest son, João Augusto, also needed to be supported at the hospital door.

According to local laws, João Augusto, the presenter's oldest son, 18 years old, is the person who has the power to make decisions about medical treatment in the patient's own impossibility to decide. Since Rose and Gugu do not have a union, she cannot legally make treatment decisions.

While an official bulletin was not released, several communicators anticipated Gugu's death, causing controversy. Example:

  • According to a source from columnist Amaury Jr., the state of Gugu Liberato is considered irreversible and his wife, Rose Miriam Di Matteo, even fainted when she learned of the seriousness of the case.

The death of the presenter Gugu Liberato was confirmed on Friday (22) at 21:06 Brasília time, by the presenter's press office under the authorization of the family. It was Gugu's wish that all his organs be donated and the family answered. The American medical team reports that they can help up to 50 people.


Television host Gugu Liberato was admitted on November 20, 1919 to the Orlando Health Medical Center, in the United States, as reported by his advisor:

11/21/2019 at 4:15 pm

Please be informed that this Wednesday, 20, presenter Gugu Liberato had an accident at his home in Orlando and is in observation for 48 hours.

We will report back to you as soon as a medical report is issued and we count on all the press friends.

Esther Rocha
Gugu Liberato Communication Advisory

A second statement was read in full by William Bonner in the penultimate article of Rede Globo's National Journal:

22/11/2019 at 20h50m

On Wednesday, 20, presenter Gugu Liberato had an accident (a crash) at his Orlando home and is under observation.

Gugu is in the Intensive Care Unit and alive, being accompanied by the local medical team. The information circulating about a supposed death of the presenter is untrue.

Gugu's family members arrived in Orlando around 7:30 pm this Thursday and will talk to the medical staff in person.

According to hospital procedures, only tomorrow, Friday, a medical report will be released first to the family.

Like all family, friends, fans and media professionals, we are confident in your recovery and appreciate your support.

We will inform you again. We count on your understanding.

Esther Rocha
Gugu Liberato Communication Advisory

A third statement confirmed Gugu's death:


This is a moment we never imagined living. With deep sadness, family members report the death of their father, brother, son, friend, businessman, journalist and presenter Antonio Augusto Moraes Liberato (Gugu Liberato), 60, in Orlando, Florida, United States.

Our Gugu has always lived simply and joyfully, surrounded by his family and extremely dedicated to his children. And so it was until the end of life, after a home accident.

He accidentally fell from a height of about four meters while repairing the attic air conditioner. He was promptly rescued by the rescue team and admitted to the Orlando Health Medical Center, where he remained in the Intensive Care Unit, accompanied by the local medical team.

On admission, the Glasgow Glasgow scale was 3 and the initial exams found intracranial bleeding. Due to neurological severity, no surgical procedure was indicated. During the observation period the absence of brain activity was found. Brain death was confirmed by Prof. Dr. Guilherme Lepski, a Brazilian neurosurgeon called by the family, who after seeing the images of the exams in detail, confirmed the irreversibility of the clinical picture before his mother Maria do Céu, brothers Amandio Augusto and Aparecida Liberato, and the mother of their children, Rose Miriam Di Matteo.

We don't have details about the transfer to Brazil yet. Funeral and burial information will be passed as soon as everything is set.

He leaves three children, João Augusto of 18 years and the twins Marina and Sophia of 15 years.

Given his wishes, the family authorized the donation of all organs.

Gugu has always reflected on the true values ​​of life and how fragile it is. His departure leaves us groundless, but reinforces our certainty that he lived fully. I miss you, there are the memories - which are many - and the certainty that God now receives a dear child, and the sky gets a star that emanates light and peace.

Family and staff

São Paulo, November 22, 2019

* Glasgow Scale of 3 - used to measure awareness and progression of brain damage in a patient.

Fourth release:


Following is Gugu Liberato's transfer and wake information:

  • We do not have the date of the body's arrival in Brazil. This whole process is following the legal process. We believe that before Wednesday this will not happen.
  • At your will, all organs of the presenter were donated. According to the medical team responsible, this donation could benefit up to 50 people.
  • The wake will take place at the Legislative Assembly of the State of São Paulo and will be open to the public so that they can say goodbye to Gugu. The date has not been set.
  • Gugu will be buried in the family grave at Gethsemane Cemetery in Sao Paulo.

As new information becomes available, we will inform you promptly.

Once again we appreciate the affection and respect of all friends of the press.

Esther Rocha
Communication Advisory
Sao Paulo, November 23, 2019

Consumer Rights

The US is one of the champion countries in consumer rights lawsuits:

  • Philip Morris ordered to pay $28Mi
    A woman with cancer said she became ill from smoking and the company did not warn of the risks.
  • Owens Corning ordered to pay $1.2Bi
    The lawsuit claimed that asbestos-based construction products caused cancer.

To protect themselves from any punishments, companies often put all kinds of warnings on their products. In some cases, these warnings even seem exaggerated and defy common sense:

  • "Do not use to dry pets.", microwave manual.
  • "Attention! This is not underwear. Do not try to wear like pants.", wristwatch manual.
  • "Do not try to stop the saw with your hands or genitals.", chainsaw manual.

Thus, it is strange that builders still do not have the habit of placing warnings in the attics. Also because this type of accident occurs with some regularity there, even among industry professionals, not just uninformed foreigners:

Eventually a fragile floor signage could have saved Gugu's life. So what else is missing to motivate contractors to put this kind of signage?

Signaling that could eventually have saved Gugu Liberato's life.

Further Reading

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