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Etta James Diagnosed with Leukemia, Dementia

1/14/2011 6:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

"At Last" singer Etta James is receiving 24-hour health care at her Southern California home after being diagnosed with leukemia and dementia -- and now her family is going to war over the bills.

0114_eta_james_BN_Getty

The 72-year-old singer's husband and son are at odds over who should be in charge of controlling the singer's fortune to pay her costly medical bills.

According to court documents, Etta's husband wants to move more than $1 million into a joint account so he can personally control the spending ... while Etta's son believes the money should be controlled by a third party to "avoid future and present family conflict."

In court documents, Etta's husband claims the main reason he wants control of the cash is to fulfill his wife's wish not to live her final days in a hospital.

A hearing is scheduled for later today.

52 COMMENTS

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31.

jeff    

All in all 40 years from now we will still know Etta James can the same be said for beyonce

1345 days ago
32.

WhyNot    

People are missing the point. The father wants to set up a joint account with a million dollars in it. When one of the owners of the account passes, the other becomes sole owner, outside inheritance rules, no taxation. It will be his free and clear. By the sounds of the son, I can see why. According to the report, the son wants to make sure he gets his share. If the son has his way, all the money goes through inheritance, probate, the government takes its share and the father, also a senior will probably end up destitute.

1345 days ago
33.

Jackie    

Hmm!!...TMZ???....Please...cross check your article...hmm!!

1345 days ago
34.

jus-sayin    

Who ever she is...lord be with her. Leukemia is nasty. My prayers for you.

1345 days ago
35.

Heather    

Yes, it is Etta James. I saw her a year and a half ago and that's exactly how she looked.

1345 days ago
36.

Big Mamma Cornbread    

ETTA LOOKS GREAT...ALWAYS WAS A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN.

1345 days ago
37.

Big Mamma Cornbread    

MAD BECAUSE SHE DID NOT KNOW WHOM BEYONCE WAS SINGING HER SONG...OH WELL-ERS...ETTA ANGEL SPEED SISTER...

1345 days ago
38.

Big Mamma Cornbread    

I TAKE IT THE HUSBAND HAS LIVED OFF OF ETTA'S MONEY ...AND WOULD LIKE IT TO CONTINUE....THAT'S WHAT OCCURS WHEN YOU MARRY A BROKE PREDATOR.

1345 days ago
39.

Big Mamma Cornbread    

COMPARING ETTA TO BEYONCE.....NEVER...LIKE NICKI MINAJ TO ARETHA FRANKLIN... A NEVER YET AND STILL....DIFFERENT ERA...STYLE AND CLASS...NOT SLIP SLIDING HALF NAKED VAGINA HANGING OUT AND OPEN JI RATING AND DEGRADING ON THE FLOOR OF THE STAGE....AND THAT AIN'T ALL..DOING THE PELVIC THRUST AND THE HULLY GULLY ALL OVER THE PLACE....

1345 days ago
40.

Big Mamma Cornbread    

I HAD TO LAUGH MYSELF.....ETTA WAS RIGHT I DON'T KNOW WHO THAT GAL IS...DARE TO MENTION THE CLASS ACT IN THE SAME BREATH....

1345 days ago
41.

Rachel Rothechild    

Aretha Franklin now her. Wow many people from the generation are dying from cancer.

1344 days ago
42.

Sugar Kitty    

Tell it like it is Mamma Cornbread! God bless you Miss Etta, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

1344 days ago
43.

emerald    

The son wants to fight the husband's wishes for his own mother not to have to go into a hospital but to be able to have private care (expensive !) at home, by stopping the husband getting just $1 mil put in a joint account to pay the bills?! Jeez, can't even wait until his mother is dead to fight the husband over her money!! As her husband HE is next of kin, the kids may get an inheritance but if she didn't want to leave her money to them they don't have a legal right to it!! Sick to death of these stars or celebs kids fighting wills established by their wealthy parents, demanding the will be nullified so they can live in the life they were accustomed to when they were just kids!!
I tell you all now, even if you don't have much money to leave, spend it doing what YOU want to do while you're alive NOW and donate to where you want the money to go to now, because if you don't those left behind will be fighting in court and tearing their family apart with their feelings of
right to inheritance money!! It's happening even in the real world more and more too, and it's a sickening spectacle! Establish any trust for the kids early and make sure they know that's ALL they're getting, regardless of how much is in your bank account when you die!!
It's really sad this talented lady has leukemia and that the
treatment will drain her tired body. The dementia means one thing only, she won't remember previous arguments, even a half an hour later, the truly sad part is she will have no idea who you are and by the time you get her to remember just a little she will have to ask you who you are again! The medication for this alone, the leukemia medication and the constant need for a nurse to hand to ensure she doesn't harm herself by doing just the simplest things will run bills up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on how much longer she lives! Her husband is doing what he knows she would want, to stay at home until the end if possible - nobody ever wants to go into a nursing home and for the elderly its a great fear their kids will just stick them in there for ease and visit when they can!
I don't know if he was a pauper when he married her, that's not our business, it is her choice, her decisions and sadly it looks as if her days of making any decisions are coming to an end! I have seen dementia eat at a person, I've seen what it does and if her husband wants to try to cope at home with nursing aide for her good on him, she would not want to be in a home!
I can understand if the kids are from a previous marriage they feel they have the right to take over, but they don't legally and that's the end of it! The son and rest of the family may think a third party needs to act to govern the money but unless there's some over riding reason (fearing you won't inherit mum's money doesn't count btw!) like an inability to deal with the situation himself, the hubby's not going to lose, the kid is just wasting his time on the lawyers now! They would have to prove neglect or financial impropriety in order to get him cut out of the picture! The husband's not asking for all of her money, just a transfer to his account so he can pay for her private medical care and if her kids had any love for her they would quit fighting over her money and let him keep her at home, cared for and the medical bills paid for! I have a sneaking feeling if the husband was cut out of the picture Etta would be living her last days in a hospital bed and not at home surrounded by her own possesions and in the comfort of her own bed - they would rationalise it as "Oh well she needs medical care and she can't be looked after at home, we can't cope!"!
JMO!

1344 days ago
44.

Alice Holmes    

JMO, You pinned it correctly and "On The Money!" And for all of those he think the picture is not Etta,it is. She was once my mother-in-law. Her husband Artis Mills (over 40yrs of marriage)has been there thru the thick & thin and the highs & lows and loves his wife! God Bless you Etta!

1344 days ago
45.

LeslieC    

I saw her in concert in 2009 and yes, that is a picture of her. She lost a whole lot of weight and looked very different. Sad she worked so hard at it only to become so ill. She is an outstanding performer, there's no one like her.

1344 days ago
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