Family feud over Mickey Rooney’s remains

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Entertainer Mickey Rooney is shown in this May 1987 file photo. Rooney, a Hollywood legend whose career spanned more than 80 years, has died. He was 93. Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith said that Rooney was with his family when he died Sunday, April 6, 2014, at his North Hollywood home. (AP Photo/File)

Entertainer Mickey Rooney is shown in this May 1987 file photo. Rooney, a Hollywood legend whose career spanned more than 80 years, has died. He was 93. Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith said that Rooney was with his family when he died Sunday, April 6, 2014, at his North Hollywood home. (AP Photo/File)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Two factions of Mickey Rooney’s family are feuding over the body in a dispute over where he wanted to be buried.

They were in court Tuesday, when a judge ruled that no one can claim the body from the mortuary until the squabble is resolved, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Rooney died Sunday at the age of 93 in Studio City, where he was living with his stepson, Mark Rooney, and his wife, Charlene. He was a screen legend who for decades had led a charmed life, but it is now clear how far his fortunes had fallen, The Times reported.

According to The Times, Rooney’s trust didn’t have a dime; he owed back taxes to the IRS and the state Franchise Tax Board; he was estranged from most of his nine children and separated from his wife. He also had disinherited everyone except one stepson, according to a will filed along with court papers that showed assets of only $18,000, The Times reported.

Rooney’s body was taken to the mortuary at Forest Lawn cemetery Sunday afternoon. His estranged wife, Jan Chamberlin, and her son, Christopher Aber, later contacted Forest Lawn and tried to move the body against his expressed wishes, Michael Augustine, who served as Rooney’s conservator since 2011, alleged in court papers filed Tuesday morning, according to The Times.

Yevgeny Belous, one of Chamberlin’s attorneys, said his client simply wanted to give Rooney a “befitting” burial.
Chamberlin and Aber believe Rooney’s wishes were to be interred at a Westlake Village cemetery alongside a plot for Chamberlin, said John O’Meara, an attorney for Aber and his wife, Christina, The Times reported.

Augustine, who has Mark and Charlene’s support, said Rooney had told him he wanted to be buried at a veterans cemetery or alongside other film stars at a Hollywood one, according to the newspaper.

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