Brian Wilson's Family Proposes Conservatorship Amid "Major Neurocognitive Disorder"

The Beach Boys legend had been under the care of his wife, Melinda, until her death last month

Photo: Rick Clifford

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Feb 16, 2024

Shortly after the announcement that a shelved '70s country album he produced would see the light of day next year, the family of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson has filed a request to put the singer-songwriter under conservatorship.

In a new court filing obtained by The Blast, the Wilson family alleged that the iconic musician is "unable to properly provide for his own personal needs for physical health, food, clothing, or shelter" while living with a "major neurocognitive disorder (such as dementia)." Up until her death last month, Wilson had been under the care of his wife, Melinda Kay Ledbetter Wilson.

The family said in a statement posted to Instagram that the decision had been made "to ensure that there will be no extreme changes to the household" in the wake of Melinda's death. They claimed that a conservatorship would allow Wilson to "work on current projects as well as participate in any activities he chooses." LeeAnn Hard and Jean Sievers have been put forth as co-conservators.

Filed in Los Angeles, the court document quoted a doctor's description of the artist as "easily distracted, often even when aware of surroundings," and noted that he "often makes spontaneous irrelevant or incoherent utterances" and has difficulty "maintain[ing] decorum appropriate to the situation."

The document shows that a court date has been set for April 26, when a judge will decide whether the conservatorship will be granted. Wilson was first placed under conservatorship in the '90s following a troubling period of drug use, mental health issues, and the disparaging influence of disgraced psychologist Eugene Landy, whom a court ordered to exit the singer-songwriter's life. 

Wilson married Melinda in 1995 and the couple adopted five children, some of whom still live in the household. "Melinda was more than my wife. She was my saviour," Wilson wrote in January after her death. "She gave me the emotional security I needed to have a career."

See the statement from the Wilson family below.


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