CBS46 in Atlanta obtained audio of the 86-year-old star screaming “for her life.” The news outlet reports that Nichols, who’s suffering from dementia, is in a guardianship fight involving her son, Kyle Johnson — and her long-time handlers and friends think he has ill intentions.
In a video sent to the network by Gilbert Bell, who says he’s Nichols’ long-time friend and manager, Nichols is said to be looking over court documents — filed by her son to gain control of her estate — for the first time.
"I'm the boss of me Gill, he's not the boss of me,” Nichols is heard saying in the recording, which was reportedly made on April 23.
She also said, "I didn't give permission to have conservatorship over me. I didn't know what he was doing."
The camera is put down at one point, but there is audio of what Bell said was her son coming in and Nichols confronting him about the guardianship.
"You get your hands off me,” she yells. “You're trying to get rid of me.”
CBS46 spoke with Nichols’ son prior to publishing the story. He said his mother doesn’t have a manager. When asked to comment about the recording or refute allegations against him, he declined.
Bell said that after the story was released, detectives from the LAPD arrived at her home to investigate.
It was reported last year that Nichols has dementia. By August, it had progressed with her doctor saying she had significant impairment of her short-term memory. Her long-term memory was okay.
Johnson, who is her only child, previously filed documents to put a conservatorship in place to oversee her financial and health-related decisions. He claimed she needed court-ordered protection to block people from taking advantage of her.
One of her friends filed papers saying Johnson was the problem.
Nichols appeared at Comic-Con last summer to discuss her famous role on Star Trek — and how Martin Luther King Jr. inspired her to keep playing Uhura after she considered quitting to pursue a career on Broadway. Her character was one of the first black women on TV who didn’t play a servant or nanny — and she shared a bold interracial kiss with William Shatner’s James T. Kirk.
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