Etta James Gravely Ill, Family Fights over Money

Singer Etta James, 72, is gravely ill, diagnosed with dementia and undergoing treatment for leukemia.The Press-Enterprise in Riverside County, Calif., reports that James’ condition came to light in court documents as part of a civil case in Riverside County Superior Court in which Artis Mills, her husband of 41 years, is seeking control of more than $1 million of James’ money.AP reports that Beverly Hills physician Elaine James, who isn’t related, says in court documents that the singer cannot sign her name and she needs help with feeding, dressing and hygiene.James has not performed on stage since early 2010 and caused a stir in 2009 when she voiced her displeasure about not being chosen to sing at President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Beyonce Knowles, who played James in a 2008 film, sang At Last instead.A hearing is planned for Friday. James’ son, Donto James, wrote in a court declaration that he does not object to money being released for her health care. But he is asking that it be overseen by a third party, “to avoid present and future family conflict and discrepancies.”

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