Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson has dementia, family seeks conservatorship – National | Globalnews.ca


The family of legendary Beach Boys member Brian Wilson has petitioned to place the musician in a conservatorship in connection with his dementia diagnosis.

After media reports emerged about the conservatorship this week, the Wilson family confirmed the legal move on Thursday. The family said the decision came after the death of “Brian’s beloved wife” Melinda Ledbetter Wilson.

Melinda, who was married to Brian for nearly 29 years, died on Jan. 30.

According to a statement from the 81-year-old’s family, Brian’s seven children, his doctors and his caretaker are seeking a conservatorship “to ensure that there will be no extreme changes” to Brian’s household.

They said the California-based conservatorship is “consistent with family processes put in place by Brian and Melinda.”

“Brian will be able to enjoy all of his family and friends and continue to work on current projects as well as participate in any activities he chooses,” the statement concluded.

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The legal filing claims Brian suffers from a “major neurocognitive disorder.”


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Rolling Stone reported that Brian has dementia and is taking a drug called Aricept to slow the progression of the condition.

In the court filing, the Wilson family said Brian’s poor mental state has left him “unable to properly provide for his own personal needs for physical health, food, clothing or shelter.”

One of Brian’s doctors quoted in the conservatorship documents said Brian is “easily distracted” and “often makes spontaneous irrelevant or incoherent utterances.”

Brian’s longtime manager LeeAnn Hard and his publicist Jean Sievers will serve as his co-conservators. Together, they will handle Brian’s personal and medical decisions.

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His financial assets are held in a trust, Rolling Stone reported. Hard is already named as Brian’s trustee as well as his power of attorney.

Brian Wilson’s first conservatorship

Brian, a co-founder of the iconic American rock band the Beach Boys, struggled with mental health and substance abuse issues that upended his career in the 1960s.

In the early 1990s, Brian was placed under a conservatorship in an attempt to distance the star from the late, controversial psychologist Eugene Landy.

Brian had for years been under the close supervision of Landy, who helped curb Brian’s addictions in the mid-’70s. However, many close to Brian, including Melinda, felt he was being exploited and mistreated by the doctor.

Landy had at one point been the chief beneficiary of Brian’s will and was set to inherit up to 70 per cent of his estate. After a years-long legal feud, Landy was barred from any contact with Brian in 1992.

Brian has long since credited Melinda with stabilizing his famously troubled life. When Melinda died in January, Brian wrote, “Melinda was more than my wife. She was my saviour.”

“She gave me the emotional security I needed to have a career,” he praised. “She encouraged me to make the music that was closest to my heart. She was my anchor.”

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Judges in California can appoint a conservator for the person, their finances — referred to as the estate — or both, as was the case with Britney Spears, whose court fight brought broad new attention to this legal standing.

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— With files from the Associated Press

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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