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Mickey Rooney says his stepson is abusing him

Famed 90-year-old actor Mickey Rooney, who has won an Oscar, Emmy and a Golden Globe, now plays a much sadder role.  It's one that is far more common than most people realize.  Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney says he has been a victim of elder abuse at the hands of his stepson, who has made him a prisoner in his own home.  In a recent court filing, Rooney alleges that the stepson, Chris Aber, along with Aber's wife, have taken control of his finances, intercepted his mail and even forced him to do performances he did not wish to do. 

Rooney says they've also drained almost $400,000 from his bank accounts and refused to give him his own ID cards, passport, and Screen Actor's Guild card.  In fact, a judge recently ordered Aber to turn the cards over to Rooney within 24 hours.

The court appointed an independent attorney to serve as a temporary conservator to protect Rooney, pending a full evidentiary hearing.  Following the upcoming hearing, scheduled for March 25th, the judge will decide whether or not to appoint the conservator on a more permanent basis.  A second hearing, set for April 5th, will address the allegations of abuse and reportedly will feature Rooney's testimony about what's been done to him.

The court-appointed temporary conservator reported to the judge that he met with Rooney twice in a 10-day span, and the actor was wearing the same clothes both times and did not have any money or identification.  He also stated that Rooney asked for his help to get his life back.

Rooney said he is afraid that his stepson will physically abuse him in retaliation for the allegations.  The judge granted a temporary restraining order against Aber to protect Rooney until the case is resolved.

Elder abuse is a growing epidemic in our country.  A Consumers Digest study estimated there are more than 5 million victims of financial elder abuse each year in our country.  Elderly victims are exploited out of 2.6 billion dollars annually, according to a recent Met Life Mature Market Institute report.

It's important for families to be vigilant and help protect their golden loved ones from exploitation, because it can happen to your family. Sometimes filing conservatorship court proceedings (called guardianships in many states) is the only way to protect a senior who is a victim of exploitation or other forms of elder abuse.

To learn more about exploitation, including discussions of other related celebrity stories, you can click here to watch Andy Mayoras' recent video interview with Forbes.

Update:  Mickey Rooney recently testified before the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging about elder abuse and exploitation.  You can read Rooney's impassioned plea here

By Andy and Danielle Mayoras, co-authors of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!, husband-and-wife legacy expert attorneys, and hosts of an upcoming national PBS special.  The charismatic duo has appeared on the Rachael Ray Show, Forbes, ABC's Live Well Network, WGN-TV and has lent their expertise and analysis to hundreds of media sources.  As dynamic keynote speakers, Danielle and Andy delight audiences nationwide with highly entertaining and informative presentations, dishing the dirt on celebrity estate battles while dispensing important legal information.

For legal help in Michigan, visit Andy and Danielle's law firm's websites, The Center for Elder Law and The Center for Probate LitigationFor the latest celebrity and high-profile cases, with tips to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your clients, subscribe to The Legacy Update at

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