Nichols played Lt. Uhura, a translator and communications officer, aboard the USS Enterprise in the “Star Trek” series that ran on NBC from 1966-69, and also appeared in some of the “Star Trek” movies.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson did not immediately rule on any of the issues raised by Angelique Fawcette, a producer and actress based in Ventura County who also is seeking a new judge in the case. Instead, Johnson set a Sept. 10 hearing on whether Fawcette has a legal right to ask Johnson to remove herself from the case.
Last week, the co-conservators filed court papers stating that a geriatrician who examined Nichols concluded that she suffers from “moderate, progressive dementia.” But Fawcette says Nichols can manage her affairs with the help of a regular assistant.
On May 14, Johnson named four individuals to serve as temporary co-conservators of Nichols. The judge said she granted the petition brought by Nichols’ son, Kyle Johnson, even though she was concerned about the potential cost of the conservatorship to the Nichols estate.
The temporary conservators — Norine Boehmer, Dawn Mills, Susan Ghormley and Leandra McCormick — are “professional fiduciaries” whose full-time job is to take care of the money or other assets of another person. Johnson said they will remain Nichols’ temporary co-conservators at least until Sept. 19.
But Fawcette, who states in her court papers that she met Nichols in 2012 while casting a film, says her friend does not need a conservator and that she can still perform such routine tasks as showering, dressing, putting on makeup and traveling to conventions without assistance.
“Nichelle requires only limited assistance with some of the activities of daily living, which can be provided by a caregiver, assistant or myself,” according to Fawcette.
On Aug. 8, the temporary co-conservators filed court papers stating that Dr. Meena Makhijani, a Woodland Hills geriatrician, concluded that Nichols lacks the mental capacity to consent to any form of medical treatment and that the actress had been prescribed 12.5 milligrams of a dementia medication daily “as needed for agitation.”
But according to Fawcette, Nichols’ ability to recall matters is not seriously impaired.
“I did not observe that Nichelle has any significant memory issues that would prevent her from managing her own business, financial and/or personal affairs,” according to Fawcette.
She also said in a sworn declaration that Johnson, whom she met in 2013, appeared to care little about his mother’s health or well-being.
“I know that Kyle rarely visits Nichelle, if at all,” according to Fawecette.
Fawcette submitted for court review a video which she said demonstrates that Nichols travels to “Star Trek” conventions and still gets excited to meet fans and sign autographs.
Nichols also talks in the video about her conflicts with Johnson over her desire to keep working and how he “does not understand her love for her career,” according to Fawcette.
“As late as March 2017, (Johnson) told (Nichols) that he `can’t wait to get rid of her (expletive) and sell her house and property,”’ Fawcette alleges.
Fawcette further argues that if a court nonetheless finds that a permanent conservatorship is necessary, the four temporary co-conservators should not fill the role because they allegedly are not acting in Nichols’ best interests. Fawcette alleges in her court papers that one of the temporary co-conservators gave Nichols’ former assistant $6,500 “to keep silent about her knowledge of the current estate of Nichelle’s affairs as they are affected by the temporary co-conservators.”
Nichols walked Fawcette down the aisle at the latter’s wedding and Fawcette views her “like a mother,” according to Fawcette’s court papers.
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