Mickey Rooney: Elder Abuse Victim?

Actor Mickey Rooney and his wife Jan arrive at the 81st Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California on February 22, 2009. AFP PHOTO / Valerie MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images) VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

mickey rooney
Mickey Rooney and his wife, Jan, arrive at the Academy Awards in Hollywood, California on February 22, 2009.
VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

(CBS) Mickey Rooney says he has a new role - but not one he wants:

Elder abuse victim.

The veteran actor, 90, claims his stepson is withholding food and medicine and interfering with his finances, the New York Daily News reported. On Monday, a judge granted him a temporary restraining order against his stepson, Chris Alber. He's the son of Rooney's eighth wife, January.

"Chris is verbally abusive toward Mickey," court papers allege. "He yells and screams at Mickey. He threatens, intimidates, bullies, and harasses Mickey. Mickey is effectively a prisoner in his own home."

If Rooney is a victim of elder abuse, he's got lots of company. Every year, an estimated 2.1 million older Americans fall victim to physical, psychological, sexual, financial, or other forms of abuse and neglect, according to the American Psychological Association. And for every case reported to authorities, experts estimate there may be as many as five cases that were not reported.

Elder abuse and neglect are particularly common when the older person is mentally impaired, the association says.That seems not to be the case with Rooney, whose film career spans eight decades and includes multiple Oscar nominations. Rooney is described in the News as being sharp-witted.

"All I want to do is live a peaceful life, to regain my life and be happy," Rooney wrote in a statement quoted by the paper. "I pray to God each day to protect us, help us endure, and guide those other senior citizens who are also suffering."

  • David W Freeman

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