Iconic singer Etta James is now in hospice care, suffering from leukemia, dementia, and Hepatitis C. Her son, Donto James, requested to be made the conservator of her $1-million estate in the final stages of her life, but on Tuesday, a judge denied his request.
The LA Times reports that Donto was concerned about the costs of her care and the way her husband of over 40 years, Artis Mills, was handling her finances. Mills requested $500,000 to cover her medical care, but the judge released only $350,000.
Donto and his brother requested that the judge transfer Etta, who is currently being looked after by a full-time doctor at her home, to a hospital for a thorough examination. Donto is concerned that she may not be receiving the best care possible. “The only issue is my mother going into the hospital,” Donto says.
“I begged the doctors to do it this one time to make sure everything is
The judge chose to leave financial control in Mills’ hands, but did not rule on treatment options, leaving it instead to her live-in doctor. “Mr. Mills’ aim is to keep her alive as long as possible,” says Donto. “That’s my aim too.”
Last week, Etta’s reps issued the following statement: “Etta has a
terminal illness. She’s in the final stages of leukemia. She has also
been diagnosed with dementia and Hepatitis C. She’s in a home right now
and mostly sleeps. She is under the care of a live-in doctor from
Riverside Community Hospital and two others who have placed her on
oxygen. Her husband is with her 24 hours a day, and her sons visit
regularly. We’re all very sad. We’re just waiting.”