Sherman Hemsley, the beloved actor who played George Jefferson on the classic sitcom “The Jeffersons”, passed away in July of lung cancer; however, he won’t be laid to rest until a dispute over his will is settled, and it’s not looking like that time will come soon.
Hemsley named Flora Enchinton, his longtime manager and business partner, as the sole inheritor of his estate, valued at around $50,000. Enchinton says she worked with Hemsley for over 20 years and saw him through dark times, when the money wasn’t coming in as it used to. She also says she doesn’t remember Hemsley ever mentioning siblings, yet a man named Richard Thornton has now come forward with the claim that he is Hemsley’s brother and that he wants to contest the validity of the will.
“Some people come out of the woodwork — they think Sherman, they think money,” Enchinton said. “But the fact is that I did not know Sherman when he was in the limelight. I met them when they (Hemsley and friend Kenny Johnston) came running from Los Angeles with not one penny, when there was nothing but struggle.”
Enchinton says the fact that Hemsley has been stuck in limbo between the funeral home and his gravesite is a “disgrace” and lacks the dignity that the man inhabited in life.
“Sherman left very worried about me, about me staying alone, what was going to happen to me, being alone if he was gone. That’s what worried him the most. I guess maybe he sensed what was going to happen. It just gives me these emotions and feelings (that) all of a sudden there’s these people that have never known anything about our life, about who we are, about what we’re all about, about what we endured,” she said.