(LOS ANGELES, Aug. 12, 2020) – Kyle Johnson, son of Nichelle Nichols, the iconic Star Trek star, filed a countersuit against Gilbert Bell. The suit accuses Bell of elder abuse, theft, fraud, and additional charges related to Bell’s bilking Nichols of significant assets including appearance fees, her pension, Social Security, and her Woodland Hills, CA home.
The countersuit is being handled by the Los Angeles-based law firm of Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs.
Nichols, 87, the African American actress and performer, is best known for her role as Lt Uhura, Communications Officer of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek / TOS (The Original Series) and the succeeding films 1 through 6. The role was groundbreaking for female African American characters and actresses in American television and film.
Kyle Johnson, Nichols’ only child, is her full time caregiver and Conservator of her Person and Estate. He returned to California in August of 2018 to be her full time caregiver. Johnson seeks to “hold those responsible to account, ensure his mother’s financial stability, health and comfort, recover what has been stolen from her, and ensure a safe, secure, and enjoyable future in the coming years.”
The countersuit charges Bell with consistent, tortious, malfeasant, and callous conduct as he “took advantage of a highly respected woman when she was vulnerable” and continued as her health and circumstances declined. The countersuit alleges that in 2012, Bell temporarily moved into a second house on Nichols’ property and continues to live in the house under a fraudulent lease and a succeeding fraudulent reverse mortgage.
Bell exerted influence and assumed control over Nichols’ assets and personal life by telling Ms. Nichols lies, fabricating documents, and establishing legal entities controlled by Bell in order to profit from Ms. Nichols’ personal affairs.
According to the National Council on Aging, more than ten percent of those over 60 fall victim to elder abuse. Financial exploitation is one of the many ways in which seniors are taken advantage of by people they trust. A number of well-known celebrities, including Stan Lee, Mickey Rooney, and Casey Kasem reportedly suffered elder abuse in their later years. Refer to case number 19STCV23804 for more information. For media interested in interviewing Mr. Johnson, contact Shawna Charles, IXG PR, at 310-490-7690 [email protected]
Based in Los Angeles, Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs is a multi-cultural law firm which has been serving clients for more than 75 years in a diverse range of practice areas. The firm’s partners include Ricky Ivie, W. Keith Wyatt, Byron Purcell, Rodney Diggs, and Marie Maurice.
# # # #