Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols is dealing with dementia among other depressing issues.
Nichelle Nichols is a Star Trek and cultural icon, a woman who helped break the television color barrier in the 60s, and became someone that many people looked up to. Her chance meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King became a story that helped turn her into a legend among many communities and established her as a star.
Unfortunately, Nichols is not doing so well anymore. The 88-year-old actress is dealing with dementia in her later years, according to the LA Times (subscription needed). The disease affects a person’s usual ability to remember things, think clearly, or make common decisions that interfere with everyday life. It’s an awful affliction. That would be bad enough, but the issues with Nichols don’t stop there.
On top of her dementia, Nichols is also dealing with a conservatorship issue between her son, Kyle Johnson, and her former manager, Gilbert Bell. Bell lost control over Nichols’ assets to Johnson and the two are now engaged in a battle over certain assets. Bell lost control of the conservatorship to Johnson in 2018, but Bell has a current lawsuit against Johnson currently.
Nichelle Nichols will always be remembered for her grace and dignity
It’s bad enough to be involved in a dispute for a family’s assets, it’s even worse to do so while the person you love is dealing with such a debilitating disease as dementia. It’s even, somehow, worse yet when it’s being done in public.
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This isn’t the first major row over a conservatorship to hit the headlines either. Recently pop star Britney Spears had her own conservatorship issues play out in the news recently, with her father being accused of conservatorship abuse by his own daughter. The whole issue came to a head as many fought over how to handle the conservatorship amid Britney Spears’ mental health struggles, with some arguing her father was taking advantage of her issues.
That whole situation played out in front of many people on social media. It’s, unfortunately, going to happen again with Nichols, as she’s wildly beloved by Star Trek and non-Star Trek fans alike and people are going to want to make sure she’s ok. Even those who only know her from television.
The whole thing could get very ugly, so it’s important to remember something; no matter how ugly things get, however, Nichols should always be remembered for her grace and dignity. From challenging racial stereotypes in the ’60s to having television’s first-ever interracial kiss, to being a person who championed equal rights for everyone. Nichol’s legacy will not be defined by her illness or these current and tragic events.