Music

Brian Wilson Placed Under Conservatorship Amid Dementia Battle

Amid his battle with dementia, Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson, 81, will be placed into a conservatorship. A Thursday night (Feb. 15) statement from Wilson’s family on Instagram noted that following the death last month of the singer’s wife and longtime manger, Melinda Ledbetter, the decision was made to appoint two longtime family representatives as co-conservators.

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“Following the passing of Brian’s beloved wife Melinda, after careful consideration and consultation among Brian, his seven children, Gloria Ramos and Brian’s doctors (and consistent with family processes put in place by Brian and Melinda), we are confirming that longtime Wilson family representatives LeeAnn Hard [his longtime business manager] and Jean Sievers [a longtime publicist] will serve as Brian’s co-conservators of the person,” read the statement.

“This decision was made to ensure that there will be no extreme changes to the household and Brian and the children living at home will be taken care of and remain in the home where they are cared for by Gloria Ramos and the wonderful team at the house who have been in place for many years helping take care of the family.”

The note concluded by saying that the arrangement will allow Wilson to “enjoy all of his family and friends and continue to work on current projects as well as participate in any activities he chooses.” At press time a spokesperson for Wilson had not returned Billboard’s request for additional information on the conservatorship.

People obtained a copy of the court filing for the conservatorship that reportedly noted that Wilson is suffering from a “major neurocognitive disorder (such as dementia),” and that his team said he is “unable to properly provide for his or her personal needs for physical health, food, clothing, or shelter.” Wilson has long suffered from mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder, with the latter known to cause hallucinations, paranoia and distorted reality.

Conservatorships gained added attention in in 2021 when Britney Spears successfully argued for the end of what she called an “abusive” conservatorship she was in for 13 years due to concerns over her mental health that resulted in her estranged father and a legal team gaining control over her business and personal affairs.

In a note announcing Ledbetter’s death at 77, Wilson wrote, “My heart is broken. Melinda, my beloved wife of 28 years, passed away this morning. Our five children and I are just in tears. We are lost. Melinda was more than my wife. She was my savior. She gave me the emotional security I needed to have a career. She encouraged me to make the music that was closest to my heart. She was my anchor. She was everything for us. Please say a prayer for her.”

Wilson’s couple’s children, Dakota Rose, Daria Rose, Delanie Rose, Dylan and Dash, called their mom a “force of nature and one of the strongest women you could come by. She was not only a model, our father’s savior, and a mother, she was a woman empowered by her spirit with a mission to better everyone she touched. We will miss her but cherish everything she has taught us. How to take care of the person next to you with out expecting anything in return, how to find beauty in the darkest of places, and how to live life as your truest self with honesty and pride.”

See the Wilson family statement below.

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