Not all is well in the alien world of the second human to walk on the moon.
Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin has sued his family, including his son Andy Aldrin, former business manager Christina Korp, and several foundations. The charges allege that the family abused the 88-year-old through a… de facto guardianship.
The lawsuit, filed June 7 in a Florida court and obtained Friday night by Ars, alleges that Andy Aldrin and Korp used the former astronaut’s personal credit cards, trust accounts, artifacts and social media accounts for their own purposes. In addition, she states the following: that the Aldrin family, who have been married three times, prevented them from marrying a fourth time; that the family has “bullied” his romantic interests; and that the family has vilified the astronaut by saying he has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
By filing charges, Buzz Aldrin attempts to remove Andy Aldrin as the controlling administrator of his estate and gain full access to his space memorabilia. A spokesman for the Aldrin family declined to comment Friday night due to the ongoing nature of the legal proceedings.
The lawsuit comes as Aldrin’s verified Twitter account with 1.4 million followers, @TheRealBuzz, became hyperactive on June 18 after more than a month of rest. One of his first tweets was a bitter message to Korp and another of its clients, fellow astronaut Terry Virts.
Hey Twittersphere, pls RT @buzzs_xtina has been terminated and does NOT represent Buzz Aldrin in ANY capacity. Her days where she used Buzz’s voice and brand to self-promote/promote her customers, e.g @AstroTerry are over. [Hope she changes her twitter handle soon as that’s just embarrassing!]
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) June 19, 2018
Aldrin’s first tweet on June 18 was a retweet from Lisa La Bonte, who had asked co-founder Jack Dorsey to call Aldrin via the social medium Twitter. According to Keith Cowing of NASA Watch, La Bonte and Linn LeBlanc (formerly associated with one of Aldrin’s educational foundations) now appear to be involved in the astronaut’s management. La Bonte is listed as a member in a May 2018 fill to found Buzz Aldrin Ventures, LLC.
“His Twitter account suddenly went super active and had a tweet that out of the blue vilified his longtime assistant and a fellow astronaut,” Cowing told Ars in a phone interview. “The tone and content of the tweet caught my attention. This is really uncharacteristic of Buzz. This isn’t the Buzz Aldrin I’ve known for decades.”
Sources in the space community have expressed concerns about Aldrin at Ars in recent days. They say they tried to tell the astronaut, who still commands respect in the industry, that his family wants the best for him. Aldrin appears regularly at White House space events and is a member of the National Space Council’s Users’ Advisory Group, led by Vice President Mike Pence.
Unfortunately, one of these sources said, Aldrin was inadmissible. “I told him to finish well,” this aerospace leader told Ars. “He’s not listening at all.”
“This really detracts from his ability to do what he wants to do,” said another person close to the astronaut. “He wants to be a player in space policy today, and what he’s doing now isn’t helping that at all.”
This should be a time of celebration for Aldrin and a time to cement his legacy. Of the 12 people who landed on the moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s, only four are alive: Aldrin, 88; Dave Scott, 85; Charlie Duke, 82; and Harrison Schmitt, 82. Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and with the death of Neil Armstrong in 2012, Aldrin, surely the most famous living astronaut in the world, will star.