Part II: Mickey Rooney Shares His Story at Elder Abuse Conference
Actor and comedian Mickey Rooney, 91, shared a very personal story with the crowd at this year's UK Justice Center for Elders and Vulnerable Adults fall 2011 conference held in the Pavilion "A" Auditorium. Because of health issues, Rooney, who was originally supposed to travel to Lexington, joined the audience via teleconference from a location in Los Angeles, CA. The crew handling the audio and live feed did a fantastic job.
Many of you know Mickey Rooney for his long career on film and television. Some may remember him as Andy Hardy in A Family Affair. Others may remember him from his character roles on Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, The Love Boat, and The Jean Arthur Show, to name a few. His movie list includes titles such as Night at the Museum, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Black Stallion, Love Finds Andy Hardy, and Babe: Pig in the City. He has been the winner of an Honorary Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and an Emmy Award.
The topic for this conference was not his impressive acting career, however. Many of you may not know that Mickey Rooney, yes Mickey Rooney, has recently been the victim of emotional and financial abuse...by his own stepson Chris. According to the Associated Press, "Chris consistently paid himself a generous salary from Mickey's earnings, took 'advances' on his salary, and spent Mickey's money as if it were his own." Mickey testified in front of the Senate Special Committee on Aging earlier this year. At this hearing, Mickey stated, "I was eventually and completely stripped of the ability to make even the most basic decisions in my own life. If elder abuse happened to me, Mickey Rooney, it can happen to anyone."
Mickey has since sought out an outstanding legal team. While answering questions from the audience, he mentioned his legal team was from Disney. I thought this was very interesting.
Folks, elder abuse is real. Whether it is emotional, financial, or physical, it happens way too often. I applaud the Justice Center for Elders and Vulnerable Adults for putting this conference together. They did a fantastic job at illustrating the issue at hand and brought to light some steps that different groups are taking to battle elder abuse. I look forward to next year's conference!
Mickey Rooney speaks to the crowd live via teleconference.
Dr. Michael Karpf (left) asks Mickey questions from the audience live from Lexington, KY.