Under normal circumstances I would say Sherman Hemsley must be turning over in his grave right now, but unfortunately the actor still doesn’t have one because he hasn’t been buried yet, despite passing away July 24. Shameful, right?
The hold up is the $50,000 “fortune” Hemsley left to Flora Enchinton, a woman he considered his “beloved partner.” Though the wish is plainly stated in a will, the actor’s alleged brother is contesting it, claiming the money should go to him and now a judge is making him prove his family ties. According to the Las Cruses Sun-News:
On Monday, Probate Court No. 1 Judge Patricia Chew delayed the trial over the actor’s estate — and his body — until Oct. 31. At the same time, the man who says he’s Hemsley’s brother was asked to take a DNA test.
Hemsley’s body has been at an East El Paso funeral home since he died of lung cancer July 24. The body will remain there until the probate trial ends and a beneficiary is determined.
The trial, originally scheduled for Monday, will settle a lawsuit involving Richard Thornton, the man claiming to be Hemsley’s brother, and Flora Isela Enchinton Bernal, his listed beneficiary, who lives in El Paso.
Thornton and his lawyer, Mark Davis, asked the court to order a genetics test to see whether Hemsley’s DNA matches Thornton’s. The request was made after Enchinton questioned whether Thornton was really Hemsley’s brother.
The genetics test must be filed with the court by Oct. 15.
“Be prepared to produce it because there will be no more continuances,” Chew said…
After hearing of Chew’s ruling, Mike Wells, who said he is a cousin on Hemsley’s mother’s side, said he will try to intervene legally before Oct. 31.
“There is only one person in the world who I believe Sherman would call a sister, and that is my mother,” Wells said. “And I’ll say that in court anywhere and to anyone.”
Wells believes that Enchinton was not close to Hemsley and that the Thorntons are not related to the actor.
“I believe I might know who Sherman’s father is, and it is not a Thornton,” Wells said. “We are family, and we are not looking for money. But if we are entitled to something, we don’t want anyone else to have it.”
Before the judge ordered the test, Thornton’s nephew, Robert Thornton, took the stand to speak in favor of a DNA test.
Robert Thornton said his uncle’s father, William Thornton, was a “lover” of Hemsley’s mother but was with another woman by the time Hemsley was born.
Robert Thornton said that Hemsley lived with William Thornton for five years as a child and that there was a loving relationship between Hemsley and his alleged father.
“It was family knowledge that he was Sherman’s father,” Robert Thornton said. “I saw the relationship was there. He was present with Sherman quite often.”
When Neill brought up media interviews in which Hemsley said he was an only child and did not have contact with his father, Robert Thornton maintained that the two were close.
“I couldn’t know what was in his head or why he would be saying that at the time,” Robert Thornton said. “He was at his father’s funeral. If he had no relationship with his father and didn’t care of him, why would he travel over 2,000 miles to attend his funeral?”
I really don’t even know what to say about all of these individuals quarreling over $50K that it appears Hemsley clearly delegated who he wanted it to go to. But of course as these things go, the supposed distant relatives don’t believe the will is valid.
“I’m aware she has a paper,” Robert Thornton said. “It seems kind of strange to me, one of the signatures seems like a tracing to me. I’m not a signature expert or anything, but it looked odd.”
I think the best way to tell who really has Hemsley’s best interest at heart is the person willing to put foolishness aside in order to finally put his body at rest. So basically no one.
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