Andrew and Janice Aldrin hope to wrest their father’s legacy from him, claiming that the legendary astronaut is in “cognitive decline.”
Colonel Buzz Aldrin is a recipient of both the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has boldly gone where no man had gone before and walked upon the surface of the moon. Back on Earth, he has immortalized his passion for exploration and innovation through Buzz Aldrin Enterprises, and the non-profit ShareSpace Foundation.
Now, at 88 years of age, Aldrin fights to hold on to all that he has built. Opposing him are his own two children and a former business manager Christina Korp. In a lawsuit filed this month, Aldrin has accused Andrew and Christina of elder exploitation and unjust enrichment while accusing Janice of both conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty.
The battle began when the aforementioned parties asked a Florida court to appoint them as his guardians and to force him to undergo an evaluation of his mental competency. They claim that he is being manipulated; the solution, as they see it, is to allow them to control his assets.
While Aldrin faces that ordered evaluation on June 26-27, he has publicly resolved that “nobody is going to come close to thinking I should be under a guardianship.” In fact, Aldrin has submitted to an evaluation as recently as April, which concluded that he was “cognitively intact and retains all forms of decisional capacity.”
Meanwhile, his children have released a statement through their legal team, saying:
[We are] deeply disappointed and saddened by the unjustified lawsuit that has been brought against us individually and against the Foundation that we have built together as a family to carry on Dad’s legacy for generations to come. We love and respect our father very much and remain hopeful that we can rise above this situation and recover the strong relationship that built this foundation in the first place.
The suit alleges that both of his children, along with Korp, utilized his credit cards and bank accounts and took approximately $500,000 for their own use. They also stand accused of taking away control of his “space memorabilia, space artifacts, social media accounts and all elements of the Buzz Aldrin brand.” Further, that they have slandered Aldrin by falsely claiming that he has dementia.
Andrew and Janice have taken away his passport and no longer allow him to spend time scuba diving — his favorite hobby. When he tried to fire Korp, they told him he did not have that authority. Gainesville, Florida, lawyer Robert Bauer summed it up rather plainly: “What Andy is doing is saying to Buzz, ‘you’re old, you’re not in your right mind anymore because you don’t agree with me.'”