It’s been more than three months since actor Sherman Hemsley died of lung cancer, but his body is still being held at an El Paso, Texas funeral home. According to Fox News, multiple people are fighting over the late Jeffersons star’s estate, valued at $50,000.
The raging dispute is between Flora Enchinton, Hemsley’s live-in friend, business partner and sole beneficiary of his will, and Richard Thornton of Philadelphia, who claims to be Hemsley’s brother. Thornton filed a civil lawsuit questioning the validity of Hemsley’s will, which was signed the month before his death. On September 24 court proceedings were put on hold until Thornton underwent a DNA test to prove he is indeed Hemsley’s brother.
To add to the drama, a third person has since come forward claiming to be part of the Hemsley family. Reverend Michael George Wells believes his mother is the actor’s sister, and he’s outraged over the matter. “We are family, and we are not looking for money,” said Wells. “But if we are entitled to something, we don’t want anyone else to have it.” However, Wells claims he doesn’t have the cash it takes to enter the legal battle over Hemsley’s estate.
Wells also says he’s saddened to learn Hemsley’s body has yet to be buried. “What the media needs to know is that Sherman Hemsley’s body being in the refrigerator for this amount of time is unnecessary and uncalled for. He could have been buried with his family within a week or 10 days of his passing.”
Today, Probate Court Judge Patricia Chew will decide who is the correct beneficiary of the will. Judge Chew’s ruling will also indicate what will happen to Hemsley’s body.