Nichelle Nichols Celebrated At Comic-Con Amid Conservatorship Battle

Nichelle Nichols, famously known for playing Nyota Uhura in the legendary Star Trek series, made her final appearance at L.A. Comic-Con over the weekend.

The pioneering actress was the subject of tribute panels throughout the popular convention, which celebrates comics and other pop culture, People reports.

Nichols was the first Black woman to play a lead role on television when she won the part of Lt. Uhura. The actress, who turns 89 on Dec. 28, attended an early birthday celebration at the convention, People says.

As the outlet reports, she “was all smiles during her many appearances on her retirement tour at Comic-Con LA. Nichols was seen waving, blowing kisses and flashing Star Trek‘s famous Vulcan salute to the many fans who turned out to bid her farewell.”

Nichols’ appearance comes as the actress, who suffers from dementia, is in the middle of a conservatorship battle over her care and finances. The conflict is between her only child and conservator Kyle Johnson, her former manager Gilbert Bell, and a friend, Angelique Fawcette, the Los Angeles Times reported in August.

WATCH: ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood honoree Nichelle Nichols discusses activism and the importance of Black women supporting one another.

Her son filed a petition in 2018, arguing that “his mother’s dementia made her susceptible to exploitation.

As the Times reported:

In 2018, Johnson filed a petition for conservatorship, arguing that his mother’s dementia made her susceptible to exploitation. In 2019, Bell filed a lawsuit against Johnson, alleging attempts to remove him from Nichols’ guest home, where he has lived since 2010, and “aggressive and combative behavior.”

Bell says that while living in close proximity to Nichols, he helped to restore her career and financial well-being. According to Johnson, who filed a countersuit against Bell in 2020, Nichols’ home was the place where her former manager “exerted his undue influence and took control over Ms. Nichols’ assets and personal affairs,” misappropriating the star’s income as her health deteriorated and memory faded.

Concerns about Nichols’ conservatorship come as pop star Britney Spears’ was finally afforded freedom from her conservatorship of many years. Her struggles brought public awareness to conservatorships more broadly, and has made people more acutely aware of Nichols’ affairs.

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