88-Year-Old ‘Star Trek’ Actress Nichelle Nichols, Who Has Dementia, Stuck In Conservatorship Battle
August 16, 2021
Home > News > 88-Year-Old ‘Star Trek’ Actress Nichelle Nichols, Who Has Dementia, Stuck In Conservatorship Battle
Nichelle Nichols, the actress who played Nyota Uhura in Star Trek, is stuck in the middle of a years-long conservatorship battle.
The 88-year-old actress suffers from dementia and her son, Kyle Johnson, was led to believe her former manager, Gilbert Bell, would take advantage of her while ill, so in 2018 he filed for a conservatorship and won, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Nichols’ friend Angelique Fawcette, who was named the actress’ successor, does not agree with the conservatorship and strongly believes the Star Trek star is capable of taking care of herself. In 2018, she also accused the son of filing for a conservatorship so that he could gain access to the actress’ finances.
Bell has recently filed a lawsuit against Johnson, who has been staying at the actress’ guest home, accusing the son of trying to have him removed from the residence.
In response, Johnson filed a countersuit stating that Nichols’ illness worsened and accused Bell of committing elder abuse by trying to take advantage of the actress and her financial assets.
Fawcette said that even while the former manager was taking care of the actress by cooking her meals and taking her to doctor appointments, he left the house in ruin. She said he even suggested marrying the actress, which was met with opposition from worried family and friends, Pop Culture reported.
In the summer of 2020, Nichols’ sister, Marian Smothers, launched a GoFundMe page in order to help pay for the actress’ legal fees incurred over the years.
To date, the page has raised $147,000 out of the $200,000 goal.
On the GoFundMe page, Smothers describes in detail how Bell has taken advantage of Nichols and has robbed her of more than one million dollars.
“He convinced her to allow him to move into the second house on her property adjacent to her residence as they worked on the project that never happened. Bell still lives in the house under a fraudulent lease essentially paying nothing while compelling Nichelle to pay all his utilities, and he continues to fight his removal,” she wrote.
Smothers added that the final straw for her, Johnson and other family members was when Bell “deeded [Nichols’] personal residence into his name.”
Bell’s lawyer, William Bowmen, says the statements made on the GoFundMe page are false and that his client is innocent.
Bowman told the IndieWire that “Nichols’ son has obtained financial support for his defense of the lawsuit. Included in those false claims is the misrepresentation that Mr. Bell stole over a million dollars from her,” Bowman said.
“The truth is that Ms. Nichols has not owned a million dollars in all of the time Mr. Bell has known her,” he added.
Nichols currently resides in a rental residence located in New Mexico and will remain there while she and her family try to settle her financial issues, Alabama Live reported.