Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin has launched a legal battle against his children and family foundation, accusing them of abusing his trust and finances nearly 50 years after his historic moon landing.
The 88-year-old Aldrin’s children, in turn, say they fear he is a victim of manipulation by parties seeking to take advantage of his money and reputation.
In a civil suit filed this month in Brevard County Circuit Court, Aldrin, a Satellite Beach resident, claims his son, daughter and a former manager have misused credit cards, refused to disclose financial information and mismanaged social media accounts and other media obligations.
Aldrin further says they have slandered him, telling others that he has dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and have refused to let him marry and undermined romantic relationships.
The family and Buzz Aldrin Space Foundation “have used this tactic to gain further control over (Buzz Aldrin’s) personal relationships, business contacts, and assets,” the lawsuit states.
Aldrin also seeks to remove his son, Andy Aldrin, as the controlling trustee of his estate that oversees memorabilia worth millions of dollars.
Andy Aldrin is a former rocket company executive who also serves as the foundation’s president and director of the Aldrin Institute based at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Buzz Aldrin’s daughter, Jan Aldrin, is a foundation board member. Buzz Aldrin is the foundation’s chairman, but does not oversee day-to-day operations.
The foundation, which is gearing up for an annual gala fundraiser July 21 at Kennedy Space Center, did not comment directly on the lawsuit Friday.
However, the foundation said in a statement that it has “concerns for (Buzz Aldrin’s) vulnerability to manipulation by other parties seeking to gain access to and control of foundation and personal resources.”
Those concerns were expressed this week after public questions arose about a surge of activity on Aldrin’s official Twitter account, after it had been dormant for six weeks.
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SOURCE: USA Today, James Dean