Elder Law

Actor Mickey Rooney Says He Lacked Courage to Stop Financial Abuse

Actor Mickey Rooney told a congressional committee on Wednesday that for years he suffered in silence because he didn’t have the courage to seek legal help to stop a family member who was taking his money.

“If elder abuse happened to me, Mickey Rooney, it can happen to anyone,” the 90-year-old Rooney told the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Reuters, Bloomberg and the Associated Press have stories.

“My money was taken and misused. When I asked for information, I was told that I couldn’t have any of my own information,” Rooney said. “I was literally left powerless.”

Rooney didn’t identify the family member, but he has obtained a restraining order against his stepson, Christopher Aber, based on claims that Aber withheld food and medicine and took control of Rooney’s finances, according to the stories. Aber’s lawyer says the harassment allegations are false. A court has transferred control of Rooney’s affairs to a Los Angeles lawyer.

Rooney said Congress should pass legislation to strengthen enforcement in cases of elder abuse.

Bloomberg notes that securities regulators in 22 states are also trying to fight elder abuse by expanding a program that teaches medical professionals how to spot victims of investment fraud. The program is financed with corporate fines.

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