Buzz Aldrin’s family feud
The living legend’s legacy is under threat in a bitter battle over his millions
‘Family is forever and I will forever be trying to patch it up’
Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, 88, feels “younger and more energetic” than ever, yet he’s been forced to defend himself in court against two of his three children, accusing them of elder abuse, stealing money and conspiracy.
The second man on the moon has also accused son Andrew, 60, and daughter, Janice, 51, of sabotaging his relationships and refusing to let him remarry in a shocking family feud, which he says is destroying his reputation – and life.
Even after Buzz was found to be “cognitively intact” and retaining “all forms of decisional capacity” by UCLA Medical School professor of psychiatry, Dr Andrew Spar, the pair petitioned a court to gain control of his finances.
“I really felt that it really didn’t need to come to this,” the Apollo 11 hero said in an interview with Good Morning America last month. “It’s the saddest thing that ever happened in my family. But as I’ve seen, family is forever and I will forever be trying to patch it up.”
Andrew and Janice allege their father is in “cognitive decline”, paranoid and confused because he is suffering from dementia. They are seeking co-guardianship over their dad, which would give them control of his finances.
But Buzz is suing them for elder exploitation, fraud and slander, claiming they are just trying to get access to his $16 million fortune.
“I learned at West Point [Military Academy] and the military and at NASA to trust people,” he said during the interview. “I trust people too much. I’ll admit that.”
The drama began after Buzz fell ill and had to be evacuated during a 2016 expedition to Antarctica. His children then started to limit what he could and couldn’t do, and the space legend believes they seized their opportunity to get their hands on his hard-earned cash.
Buzz claims Andrew and former business manager Christina Korp “have assumed control” of the funds from his company “for their own self-dealing and enrichment” – alleging Andrew transferred $500,000 from Buzz’s bank account into his own over a two-year period. “I was hoping that whatever the differences are could be worked out, but it appears as though it wasn’t moving in that direction,” says Buzz. “So we just had to not lie over and go to sleep. We had to take a position. It’s really incomprehensible that they would do this.”
Christina declares she is being “unfairly defamed” by Buzz, and Andrew and Janice said in a statement that they “are deeply disappointed and saddened by the unjustified lawsuit”.
They added, “We love and respect our father very much and remain hopeful that we can rise above this situation and recover the strong relationship that built this foundation in the first place.”
Buzz’s three children, including son James who is not involved in the lawsuit, are from his first marriage to Joan Archer.
The couple wed in 1954 and were together when the astronaut took part in the historic first moon landing in 1969. Buzz was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 11 and set foot on the moon 20 minutes after mission commander Neil Armstrong.
HIGHS & LOWS
Buzz left NASA two years later in 1971 and returned to the Air Force. But he has revealed that he struggled with alcoholism and depression during his career.
He is still involved in the advocacy of space exploration and was at the White House for President Donald Trump’s announcement to create the “Space Force” as a new military branch. More recently, Buzz has made appearances in The Big Bang Theory and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and he owns Buzz Aldrin Enterprises and runs the Sharespace Foundation.
Daughter Jan The ex-astronaut says his daughter is not acting in his financial interests...
Son Andrew ...and has asked a judge to remove Andrew from control of his financial affairs.